Archive for April 2011

Short of Able proves that winning takes time

2011/04/28

These days, a lot of importance is put on “the instant.” For inst…example, Twitter gives you instant access to Charlie Sheen. Facebook gives you up-to-date status updates from that kid you went to junior high school with…Even though you didn’t really like him and haven’t talked to him in about ten years. And of course, you’ve also got the instant music celebrities – and all that really takes is singing a song about the order the days of the week come in.

It’s getting rather rare to see musicians take their time, but that’s exactly what the gang from Short of Able have done. Their new album, Far Away and Out of Sight, was written and recorded over a ten month period. Coincidentally, it has ten songs. Just by using basic math, it is evident this LP wasn’t done in a hurry; the band was taking their time to do things right, and to learn.

Short of Able

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They were different times, and good riddance

2011/04/26

March on Tuscaloosa County Courthouse, summer of '64

A spy force specializing in repression. Police beatings. Documents hidden away for decades. Wild accusations with no merit leading to harsh crackdowns.

In a land where individual freedom is supposed to be so important, it’s hard to believe that less than 50 years ago, state-sponsored activity like the above took place. Against people that simply wanted to live the American dream.

In files found in the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office just recently, that’s exactly the story that they tell. Fearful of integration and spurred on by Edgar J. Hoover’s nutball theory that the members of the Civil Rights movement were raging communists, Alabama Governor George Wallace created “the Commission to Preserve the Peace.” Robespierre would have been proud. When it came to fighting integration, the commission could basically do whatever they wanted…And they didn’t want to hand out candy.

Here’s an article from the Tuscaloosa News on the release of the documents, and what that information does to fill in some important holes in the Civil Rights Era:

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Poly Styrene, 1957-2011

2011/04/26

Poly Styrene, frontlady of the seminal punk band x-Ray Spex, passed away today at age 53.

Read about her in the BBC article here.

“Just head that Poly Styrene has passed away. Little girls should be seen and not heard wasn’t only a view held by our parent’s generation – the rock hacks of the mid-70s also subscribed to the idea that female musicians should be rock chicks a la Suzy Quatro. Poly pushed against that and the boys club that was early punk rock. Celebrate her life!” -Billy Bragg

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Local radio tunes out homegrown music

2011/04/25

The other day, the Past is Unwritten hit the newspaper stand. The blog post “Lamenting the Loss of the Sound” was transformed (magically and through an editing process) into an Op-ed article. It was published in the Edmonton Journal on 2 April 2011, and you can check it out here:

Local radio tunes out homegrown music.

tonight’s the night

2011/04/25

25 April 2011. Tonight’s the night that theatre and politics intertwine all across Canada. There’s a federal election afoot, and the arts community is banding together to put on a political show. In Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary, Victoria, and Edmonton too – cabaret performances will be taking place in tandem, all with music, art, spoken-word…and politicians.

Edmonton’s event will be at Avenue Theatre. 9030 118 Avenue NW. Doors at 7:30, show at 8:00 pm. Click below for more info.

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Ceci n’est pas une pipe

2011/04/23

Ceci n’est pas une pipe. Or porn. But the pictures on this website are pure beauty. http://www.thisisnotporn.net/

Hitchcock threw up the horns

Twain played pool with his cat

Happy Birthday to Sub Pop – April Fools to Everyone Else!

2011/04/01

So they did it on April 1st so it could be called a joke if they failed, but really they were serious. Today is the anniversary of the day Sub Pop Records officially opened its office doors, way back in 1988. With a knack for self-deprecation, the independent label also had a talent for combining innovation, timing, and marketability – not only for its bands, but for the label itself.

Sub Pop developed a unique image based around hype that became the straw that broke the camel’s back – that is, if you can call the wall that was blocking underground musicians from having mainstream success in the United States a camel – and thereby caused a major shift in American glamour. Nevermind the make-up and leather outfits, here’s the flannel.

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