Tag Archives: torontopia

Carl’s Tuesday Musics (belated): Jim Guthrie, “The Rest Is Yet to Come” (2013) (Animation by Dan Berry)

From the upcoming album Takes Time.

“Fire all the hired guns –
I know I’m not the only one.”

Dan Berry on vimeo.

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Filed under carl wilson, music, Tuesday Musics, TV/video

Tuesday Musics: “All Women Are Bitches,” Fifth Column, 1992

by Carl Wilson

All excited to go see Kevin Hegge’s documentary He Said Boom (that’s a great interview about it) on Toronto queercore/riotgrrrl-goddamnothers Fifth Column tonight in Hot Docs in Toronto. Was looking for the mid-8os zine/7″ flavour, but didn’t feel satisfied, and this is the better visual, but finally went for the hit.

(Tuesday Musics will get less nostalgic someday, promise.)

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Tuesday Musics: Les Mouches, “Carload of Whatever”

Les Mouches was Owen Pallett‘s band before Final Fantasy, and is (sometimes and in a very different sense) his band now after Final Fantasy.  The other flies in this ointment are Matt Smith (guitar, stuff) and Rob Gordon (drums, stuff). In this band Owen played guitar, mostly, not the violin or keyboards to which fans of his solo work are accustomed. Rob’s drums frequently burst into squalls of free-jazzish noise. Owen was in a deep Xiu Xiu phase. There was frequent screaming. They weren’t to everybody’s taste. I miss them.

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Tea With Chris: Which of Us Ex-Leninists…

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:

Carl: Astra Taylor wrote a Kindle Single on Unschooling that has sparked some useful debate: A Slate article slammed it harshly, advocating a position that I’ve long sympathized with, that we have an obligation to support and participate in the institution of public education; Conor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic took issue with that; and Astra herself wrote a thoughtful and balanced rebuttal in n+1. I strongly believe that (like most things about education) this is an ethical and political issue that doesn’t get rigorous enough consideration, and one with deep contradictions that are hard to work out. When I was a student myself, I spent a lot of time passionately reading and thinking about alternatives to the way schools restrict, control and segregate; as an adult, I’ve become more alarmed about the erosion of public schooling as a basic pillar of democratic society – I was even more gut-level enraged by Rick Santorum’s statement that as president he would homeschool his kids in the White House than by the rest of his idiotic stances. Whatever your personal stake in it, this conversation is vital to have and to expand.

On another note altogether, the great English singer and musician Robert Wyatt took a look back through his own lifelong sentimental education in music in a Pitchfork interview this week, including his struggles with alcohol, disability, anxiety and politics. (I suspect he’s a little revisionist about his Leninist past, but then which of us isn’t?) It is candid, funny, painful and enlightening.

Finally, in the Torontopian department, the Toronto Standard‘s Sarah Nicole Prickett takes a look at the diverse state of youthful collective creativity here, in a piece both heartening and informative, even if it never quite overcomes (though it tries) its historical nearsightedness.

Chris: Three decades ago, somebody watched a test screening of Videodrome and didn’t love it quite as much as me or Carl or (probably) Margaux.

Emma Healey wrote a sharply incisive response to “So Many Feelings,” Molly Fischer’s dismissive essay about “ladyblogs,” supporting “an acknowledgement of the fact that the experience of being a woman is inextricable from the need to waste time at work, or look at things that make you laugh, or find a community whose sensibilities and interests and tastes are familiar to you—whose existence makes you feel, in some small way, less alone.”

 

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

Tea With Chris: Oblivion Scattereth

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: “The ruins of Wonderland.”

Owen Pallett started a Tumblr devoted to Toronto show posters (2000-09), and it’s already fascinating – not only for suggesting what the local musical topography looked like a decade ago to us babies, but for its explicit rejection of nostalgia. Who wants to live in a museum?

New John Ashbery poem, 11 perfect lines, the last one almost a wink:

Oblivion scattereth her poppy, and besides
it’s time to go inside now,
feed the aggressive pets, forgive our trespasses
for trespassing against us.

Margaux: This sort of feels good, this video “#nov30 WHY I AM STRIKING”. “I’m going to try to do this, actually, without swearing and shouting.” (he doesn’t succeed)

Speaking of which, fuck you my Canada! for being the first to pull out of Kyoto.

I kind of like our lack of manners in the  age of WikiLeaks, but I like this article Good Manners in the Age of WikiLeaks from Slavoj Žižek too. “The only surprising thing about the WikiLeaks revelations is that they contain no surprises. Didn’t we learn exactly what we expected to learn? The real disturbance was at the level of appearances; we can no longer pretend we don’t know what everyone knows we know.”

A magical Spanish man named Eduardo Sousa has maybe provided one solution the nightmarish foie gras problem – as part of a slightly more Peta-friendly This American Life “Poultry Slam” broadcast.

This would be a nice service for adults too, What children’s drawings would look like if it were painted realistically.

This seems easy and useful – ethical fashion options.

“They’re making everyone do socialism to each other” – a wonderfully unrigorous rant on Ayn Rand and a Lulu Lemon misstep.

Carl: For my sins, I’ve been reading a shitload of year-end music lists. For my virtues, I have gotten to see this: A blog in praise of older women’s “advanced style”.

A man with a great many sins and virtues, Christopher Hitchens, died today. My closest personal connection to him was sometimes in the early 1990s being in the same room in which his Nation column was being edited, over the phone, by the fantastic and patience-of-a-saint-having JoAnn Wypijewski. So his death makes me think of her.

Also died this week: George Whitman, the 98-year-old proprietor of Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris (the successor to Sylvia Beach’s famous institution). Whitman would let writers and artists live in the (filthy) upstairs of the store if they would either work there a day a week, write a one-page autobiography, or pledge to read a book a day. The illustrator Molly Crabapple joined that tradition at 17: She made this picture today in tribute.

And on top of that, RIP to Russell Hoban, who managed in his life to write both this and this, among many other things. That’s a life.

If I were in New York this weekend I would go to this conference, “Occupy Onwards,” at the New School on Sunday.

But first, if I were American, I would do something about this Internet censorship bill in Congress: David Rees entertainingly helps explain why shit is fucked up and scary

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Tea With Chris: Florizona –> Torontopia

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: Back in grade school, the George Grosz drawing that I came across in a textbook rattled me more than anything this side of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The sheer ferocity was disquieting. I mention it because a Grosz design is featured in this arresting collection of Weimar-era book covers, images of industrialism, intrigue and distorted forms from a world on the cusp of annihiliation.

Bill Blackbeard, who passed away last month, saved innumerable pieces of comics history from mouldering decay. Here’s how, and why.

This is not Vince Foster. This is not Swiftboating. This is the dude who passed health care reform as ‘the biggest Affirmative Action in history.’ This is the whitey tape. This is ‘you are an Indonesian welfare thug.’ This is the host of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ questioning the intellect of the past editor of the Harvard Law Review. This is the scion of inherited money as populist, and the scion of a teen single-mother as elitist. This is, if you were white, you and the black dude who came before wouldn’t be here. This is we don’t believe you. In other words, this is a racism of the bone.”

Carl: It’s a bit ridiculous how often I bring Ann Powers to tea, but she’s now officially writing and broadcasting for National Public Radio now, and she’s had an especially prolific week. But her fine piece about “lifer bands” – the ones you stick with for decades – stands out especially because it’s about the ever-underappreciated Silos, who’ve got a new album out called Florizona, with this lead single, “White Vinyl,” which is simultaneously hilarious and genuinely sexy in a way that’s very tricky to pull off:

That video confused me a little, because the level of artwork done for it seemed to be disproportionate to what one does for a video, especially for an indie band. But then I discover it was actually a wholesale import of the art by photographer John Eder (who actually cowrote the song), from his book, Florida House (that link on the title should get you to an online flipbook of the whole thing – if it doesn’t work you can get there through the “Portfolio” link on his site), which tells plainspoken tales of growing up in south Florida in the 1970s, with tons of Eder’s work in a vein that I might classify as Googie-Photoshop Expressionism or something. Checkitout.

Type Books, which is just short of being the only remaining independent bookstore in downtown Toronto, is having a birthday party featuring “pop-up” readings from 18 writers tomorrow. You should pop in.

Simple idea but the execution is perfect: Way funnier than I expected.

But the main thing I did this week was write this piece, primarily of local interest. You may want to avoid if you acquired an allergy to the term “Torontopia” in the past decade, but I am hopeful that it recharges and redirects the conversation on some level. Maybe more to follow in the future.

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Tea With Chris: Crazy Love

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:

Margaux: Chris and Carl are at the Pop Conference in L.A. this week so I will attempt to cover tea alone.

Mainly – I highly recommend the latest New Yorker magazine. It is action packed.

So far I have just read two articles, the first: An incredibly cautious and thoughtful article on Scientology by Lawrence Wright. The article is framed through the story of a movie director’s eventual descent from Scientology after 35 years as an active member. The most hilarious thing about the article is the lack of nuanced lying, there is a lot of “I wasn’t even in that country!” or “I met no such person!” rather than the more expected, subtle massaging of the truth. This made the hunt for truth seem kind of hilarious. The saddest thing about the article is that, with the collected and convincing evidence mounting, it is appearing very likely that anyone supporting Scientology through services or donations is helping to support (however unwittingly) the continuation of human rights abuses.

The second article: Tiny Fey, who turns out to write a fine New Yorker article, ponders the dilema of either making things a tiny bit better for her family by having another child or making things a tiny bit better for the entertainment industry by staying around long enough so she can make sure older female comedians will continue to be hired rather than continue to be deemed “crazy” and unemployable. As she explains:

“I have a suspicion – and hear me out – that the definition of “crazy” in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore.”

I went, “hahahahahahahahahaha”. Tiny Fey continued:

“The only person I can think of who has escaped the “crazy” moniker is Betty White, which, obviously, is because people still wnat to have sex with her.”

I thought, “True enough”. And then I thought about Betty White. And then I thought about Tina Fey some more.

Chris: Carl and I are indeed in L.A., but here’s some very quick links before I race over to the Pop Conference:

New! Lynda Barry! Interview!

Flannery O’Connor, another secret cartoonist.

The funniest gimmick-Tumblr concerning the British class system you will see this week: http://davidcameronpretendingtobecommon.tumblr.com/

I haven’t actually finished watching this vintage documentary about rap in Toronto yet – Pop Conference papers tend to be written at the last minute – but it looks pretty great:

(Via Noz.)

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