these are hard times for everybody...
September 24, 2013 8:21 AM   Subscribe

 
Bravo.
posted by odinsdream at 8:35 AM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


That is pretty damned awesome.
posted by papercake at 8:36 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]




I am coincidentally listening to Yanqui right now and am even more delighted by it.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:39 AM on September 24, 2013


How much more awesome could GY!BE be?

None. None more awesome.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:45 AM on September 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


I was listening to CBC this morning on the drive in to work, and they were reporting on this. The reporter in Toronto, who had been at the Polaris prize ceremony the night before, reported in a tone that implied that she was flabbergasted that the band would 1) not show up and 2) decline the prize on political grounds.

The judgmental tone she reported with was kind of off-putting, actually.
posted by LN at 8:46 AM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ha ha! The Polaris Music Prize press release only used the following quote from the band's statement:
"Godspeed will use the prize money to purchase musical instruments for, and support organizations providing music lessons to, people incarcerated within the Quebec prison system."
posted by Kabanos at 8:47 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, so doing an arena tour with Nine Inch Nails using trucks and trucks packed full of expensive high powered (see lots of electricity) gear traveling across North America sponsored by a huge corporate sponsor (Live Nation) is ok even though the polar ice caps are melting, but a single night gala sponsored by one of the more environmentally responsible motor companies is OUT OF THE QUESTION. Is the tour revenue going to the musically illiterate prisoners as well? Is it freelancing when you have a record company publishing your lower case drivel. Is it freelancing when you have a record deal? Is it freelancing when Livenation is footing the bill for your tour, or are you a contracted employee/artist :-( with insurance benefits and liability protection? So much hypocrisy from such wankers. Good for the prisoners. I hope someone makes a shiv out of a recorder.
posted by Roger_Mexico at 8:51 AM on September 24, 2013 [30 favorites]


Better yet, send musical instruments to Pussy Riot!
posted by not_on_display at 8:54 AM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Roger, I think their point is more summed up by:

> much respect for all y’all who write about local bands, who blow that horn loudly

> much respect to the freelancers

> we’ve been plowing our field on the margins of weird culture for almost 20 years now, and “this scene is pretty cool but what it really fucking needs is an awards show” is not a thought that’s ever crossed our minds.

> give the money to the kids ... give the money to the olds ... let the muchmusic videostars fight it out in the inconsequential middle, without gov’t. culture-money in their pockets

Touring is a (more or less) direct interaction between the band and the crowd. That is what being a musician is all about.

Awards shows are a different thing entirely.
posted by anthill at 8:54 AM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, but the icecaps don't melt less when exposed to artistically necessary greenhouse gases.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:56 AM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Don't you know? If you every use any electricity or gas or coal power ever in your life you cannot lament climate change. If you do, you are a hypocrite.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:02 AM on September 24, 2013 [22 favorites]


I feel like people are expecting a whole lot more cogency out of Godspeed's public statements than Godspeed has ever even hinted they intend on providing.
posted by griphus at 9:02 AM on September 24, 2013 [19 favorites]


anthill: agreed, all valid points. My great contention has to do with their final bullet point:

-asking the toyota motor company to help cover the tab for that gala, during a summer where the melting northern ice caps are live-streaming on the internet, IS FUCKING INSANE, and comes across as tone-deaf to the current horrifying malaise.

My contention is that GY!BE is the tone-deaf actor in this scenario, since they are about to head out on a HUGE tour consuming more energy than is necessary if they want to remain on the fringe being weird. They are cashing in on a huge Arena Rock Tour, but a party expressing recognition of artists is something that is incredibly horrifying? If anything an award show like this highlights the work of artists and promotes their music to new audiences. They are thankful for the award, but not for the possible benefits from the award show. Like I said. Tone Deaf. Probably because their music is SO LOUD. Don't worry I am still going to check them out when they come to Brooklyn next month. At least I can walk to the venue thereby reducing the concert's carbon footprint.
posted by Roger_Mexico at 9:02 AM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do they contradict themselves? Very well, then they contradict themselves. They are large, they contain multitudes.
posted by griphus at 9:05 AM on September 24, 2013 [15 favorites]


What would Yo La Tengo do?
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:10 AM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Toyota, the company who popularized the hybrid and who have always had a strong leaning towards fuel efficiency, seem a bad target for their impotent hippy rage.
posted by w0mbat at 9:12 AM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


From now on, I'm ending all my emails with:

love you so much / our country is fucked,
xoxoxox
saul wright
posted by saul wright at 9:13 AM on September 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


impotent hippy rage

Wait, we're back on hippies? But I'm still calling people hipsters!
posted by inigo2 at 9:19 AM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


What a bunch of killjoys.
posted by Nelson at 9:25 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I just queued up "He has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corners of our Rooms" to cheer me up.
posted by Nelson at 9:27 AM on September 24, 2013


I feel the same as them about most award galas, but who or what is kanada or kanadians?
posted by rocket88 at 9:27 AM on September 24, 2013


I feel the same as them about most award galas, but who or what is kanada or kanadians?

The northern counterparts to usians (blech).
posted by The Michael The at 9:29 AM on September 24, 2013


If you every use any electricity

PV and wind sure seems to be ways to have electricity.

or gas

If one anaerobically decomposes material one can get "gas" - same with pyrolysis.

ever in your life you cannot lament climate change.

Consumption of things looks to be a bigger contributor on the issue. But where would these people be without consumption?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:29 AM on September 24, 2013


...but who or what is kanada or kanadians?

The people and place responsible for one of the best EPs ever released.
posted by griphus at 9:35 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Constellation's site is overwhelmed. Is there an alternative location for my alternative culture outrage du jour?
posted by ardgedee at 9:35 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not exactly news that the self-righteous are usually hypocrites on some level, but it's still an awesome statement.
posted by GuyZero at 9:39 AM on September 24, 2013


so their politics are as formulaic as their music. (it's a good formula, though! well, the music one)
posted by jpe at 9:42 AM on September 24, 2013


Godspeed You! Black Emperor is one of those bands that I refuse to listen to on the basis or their name alone.

Also: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
posted by Ghost Mode at 9:52 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Was the message: Error establishing a database connection?
posted by cjorgensen at 9:54 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Godspeed You! Black Emperor is one of those bands that I refuse to listen to on the basis or their name alone.

Skinny Puppy for me.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:55 AM on September 24, 2013


You know who has a stupid name? The Rolling Stones. WHAT A CLICHE! And 'The Beatles'? OHHH YOU SPELLED IT WITH AN 'A' LIKE A MUSICAL BEAT AREN'T YOU SOOOOOO FUCKING CLEVER what douches
posted by FatherDagon at 10:11 AM on September 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


The Band
posted by Kabanos at 10:12 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've never needed any award!winning! hype to love and respect the Godspeed crowd. They're a force for good, always have been. But this eviscerating of the Polaris is an unexpected pleasure.

Or as I just heard it over on Facebook ...

Must say, I couldn't agree more with the bit about "... organizing a gala just so musicians can compete against each other for a novelty-sized cheque". Kudos to the Polaris crowd for recognizing actually good music (as opposed to the Junos) ... but in the end, all awards institutions just serve to turn art into competition, which I hate. The non-competitive aspect of the arts (pro beauty and communication) is precisely what drew me to them way back when in high school, after years of increasingly obnoxious jock-ism.
posted by philip-random at 10:13 AM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Respect.
posted by OMNI Reboot at 10:15 AM on September 24, 2013


This is a better reason to do away with awards galas.
posted by Kabanos at 10:21 AM on September 24, 2013


The letter accuses Canadian government of austerity but I think spending is up since 2007. Does anyone have data?
posted by gyp casino at 10:22 AM on September 24, 2013


I can't access cstrecords.com, either. Here's a cached version of the statement.
posted by Zozo at 10:34 AM on September 24, 2013


Godspeed You! Black Emperor is one of those bands that I refuse to listen to on the basis or their name alone.

I'd say hohoho more for me except music doesn't work that way.

The first time I heard GY!BE it made all the hairs on my neck stand on end and I cried. They are amazing beyond my ability to describe.
posted by winna at 10:44 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think some people are taking this way more seriously than Godspeed did. All the written things that come out of their large, revolving cast sound like something that was written on a napkin and written one sentence at a time, passed around in a van. Which is probably not far from the truth.

The letter accuses Canadian government of austerity but I think spending is up since 2007. Does anyone have data?

Austerity isn't about spending, it's about where the money goes. I don't know about Canada, but in my city they are spending roughly the same, it's just being siphoned off to service financial instruments and debts at the expense of everything else.
posted by bradbane at 10:48 AM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


direct interaction between the band and the crowd. That is what being a musician is all about

Wrong. That might be what personality cult worship is about, but I've never gotten anything out of live shows other than close interaction with annoying people and having to stand uncomfortably for 3 hours.
posted by smidgen at 10:50 AM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


direct interaction between the band and the crowd. That is what being a musician an entertainer is all about

Better. Being a musician is not about interaction with a crowd. It's about making music. One can be both a musician and an entertainer. One can also be a musical entertainer without being a musician, which is where a lot of personality cult worship nonsense comes from (see, e.g., DJs who don't produce, pop stars who don't write and who lip-sync to studio singers' vocal tracks).
posted by The World Famous at 11:01 AM on September 24, 2013


What a bunch of undergraduate douchebags. Perhaps they could have withdrawn from the competition beforehand? Not very classy, considering this is all about promoting Canadian musical talent.

That said, it's disappointing Polaris decided to award them the prize. They've been around for a long time and are known all over the world, and Polaris has traditionally (at least for me) been about highlighting new talent.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:05 AM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The letter accuses Canadian government of austerity but I think spending is up since 2007. Does anyone have data?

One of the responses of the Canadian government to the 2008- global clusterfuck was to spend a ton of money on bridges and hospitals and roads and things.

I do not recall them spending a ton of money on Canadian culture, but I suppose $30k cheques are politically incorrect or something.

Once again, what were the Polaris people thinking? Perhaps, like many people, they like Godspeed and wanted to give the band some recognition for their awesome music?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:08 AM on September 24, 2013


Wrong. That might be what personality cult worship is about

The packaged music product as commodity is a recent development.
posted by bradbane at 11:25 AM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Polaris has traditionally (at least for me) been about highlighting new talent.

2011 - Arcade Fire - The Surburbs
2012 - Feist - Metals

Yeah, that ship has sailed. Even before it went to Arcade Fire, from 2006-2010, only 3 of the five prizes went to sophomore albums, the other 2 went to fourth albums, and none went to a debut.
posted by waterunderground at 12:11 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


One of the responses of the Canadian government to the 2008- global clusterfuck was to spend a ton of money on bridges and hospitals and roads and things.

Details here.

As an aside, I like the name "Action Plan" because it's also mostly understandable in French. Same with "Canadian Forces" and "Revenue Canada".
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:46 PM on September 24, 2013


Sure, the last couple winners have been big names (they were preceded by Karkwa and Fucked Up, for what that's worth). For me, Polaris is about the longlist and shortlist as a set of albums that are worth checking out. The other 9 shortlist artists this year:
Zaki Ibrahim - Every Opposite
Metric - Synthetica
METZ - METZ
Purity Ring - Shrines
Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
A Tribe Called Red - Nation II Nation
Whitehorse - The Fate Of The World Depends On This Kiss
Young Galaxy - Ultramarine

I think of it as a highlights list -- here's 40 decent albums and 10 albums really worth checking out -- rather than the Crowning Of The Best. And sure, there's a couple of heavy hitters in there, but there are a few that are not exactly in heavy rotation in the top 40. And one thing that Polaris has done well historically (and continues to do) is produce a "Best Album" list that is actually a diverse set of music -- not just the typical pop/rock music that usually gets recognized with a big name like Metric, but also putting a hardcore band like METZ on the dais alongside a goddamn free jazz experimentalist like Colin Stetson.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:55 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I do like the Polaris longlist because a middle-aged guy like me was introduced to the Braids and Blue Hawaii.

So good!
posted by KokuRyu at 1:09 PM on September 24, 2013


Metric claims to be American now, or did for a while. I read a bio from a couple years ago that said they're "from LA".
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:19 PM on September 24, 2013


Metafilter: we love you so much/our country is fucked.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm listening to the new Moby album and I'm freaking out at how amazing it is and yes, I'll fight you.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:53 PM on September 24, 2013


FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm listening to the new Moby album and I'm freaking out at how amazing it is and yes, I'll fight you.

No need to fight. It's not like anyone's going to try to take the album from you.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:56 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Eyeballkid - they will, oh God how they will and the pigeons will fly from the rafters to the slow-motion parking lot scuffle and drama of that moment.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:58 PM on September 24, 2013


A Silver Mt Zion - Stumble then rise on some awkward morning[SLYT]. You're welcome.
posted by prufrock at 12:23 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


The first time I heard GY!BE it made all the hairs on my neck stand on end and I cried.

They were actually the band that let me start listening to music again [I studied it at college, and after graduating, for reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, promptly quit playing and listening to it for a decade]. So, ta for that, peeps.

I do not recall them spending a ton of money on Canadian culture
From what I've gleaned from the Facebook postings of a Canadian composer friend of mine, the gov't there's been systematically gutting the arts and culture budget. YMMV.

How much more awesome could GY!BE be?

None. None more awesome.


But they can never again be as awesome as this.
posted by titus-g at 4:27 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


> Metric claims to be American now, or did for a while.

Similarly, Colin Stetson's from Michigan. Is it sufficient to be on a Canadian label or reside in Canada to qualify for a Polaris listing?
posted by ardgedee at 4:28 AM on September 25, 2013


Surprised they won. I would have bet money on Tribe Called Red.
posted by mannequito at 12:08 AM on September 27, 2013


« Older 4... 3... 2... 1...   |   Visualizing Minority Representation Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments