Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Arcade Fire Sign the Dotted Line & Plan U.S. Tour with The Unicorns

In a post dated Monday, April 3rd, announced that The Arcade Fire have signed to Merge Records. Details of the deal were not specified but let us hope that Win & co. will be in for some smooth sailing. Labels have a tradition of treating artists like commodities or indentured servants (albeit sometimes well-paid ones), but Merge already handle several top-tier acts (And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, The Buzzcocks, Neutral Milk Hotel, Destroyer) so I'm sure that they'll be civil with the AF.

The Arcade Fire attempting to flag down a helicopter
Above: The Arcade Fire attempting to flag down a helicopter.

According to the Arcade Fire's website, they'll be touring with the Unicorns again in early June. If you've successfully avoided hearing about the Unicorns up until now, think of Ritalin-deprived indie kids in pink matching outfits rocking a no-wave, Pavement-meets-Beck-while-stoned-on-paint-inhalants vibe. Pretentious, yet satisfying. [ed. note: A thousand apologies for that cumbersome phrasing.] Personally, I think that just seeing the Arcade Fire live would pay for the ticket by itself. Tour dates & locations? Presto!

SUN 6/6
@ Black Cat
w/ The Unicorns

MON 6/7
@ The Cave
w/ Fan Modine

TUE 6/8
@ Echo Lounge
w/ The Unicorns

THU 6/10
@ The Nick
w/ The Unicorns

FRI 6/11
@ tba

SAT 6/12
@ Walter’s on Washington
w/ The Unicorns and
Fiery Furnaces

MON 6/14
@ Emo's
w/ The Unicorns

TUE 6/15
@ Hailey's
w/ The Unicorns

WED 6/16
@ The Conservatory
w/ The Unicorns

THU 6/17
@ Rocket Bar
w/ The Unicorns

FRI 6/18
@ Open End
(all ages show)
w/ The Unicorns

@ Mad Planet
(2 shows)
w/ The Unicorns

SUN 6/21
@ tba
w/ The Unicorns

TUE 6/22
@ Bug Jar
w/ The Unicorns

WED 6/23
@ Lee's Palace

SAT 8/7
on Toronto Island,
w/ Sloan, the Constantines, Sam Roberts, Death From Above, Buck 65, et. al
The Unicorns
Above: Two unicorns frolicking.
The press shots were too pouty.

Any AF/Unicorns testimonials out there? Comment below.

I wish that something would Happen.

Thom Yorke is a damned genius. I listened to "The Bends" today (from 1995's "The Bends" album) and I was struck by the grace and emotional depth of Thom's lyrics. Sure, it's mid-90's era mope-rock but I feel that Thom was on to something here, before the Techno Aliens abducted him and dragged him to Planet Idioteque.

Just in case you don't have the album roosting in your CD changer, you can download the song on Kazaa or Limewire. For the more adventurous spirits out there, you can hear a fairly decent cover of the song by some random guy named Jason Buckley. I found his version on Google and in all honesty, he doesn't have the vocal range of Thom Yorke--who really does, besides opera singers and maybe Mike Patton?--but Mr. Buckley offers an interesting take on the Radiohead classic. (His singing voice isn't unlike that of my dear friend Mr. Aubie, a Bishop's U. Senior and seasonal Lighthouse Keeper.)

Radiohead-"The Bends"

Where do we go from here?
The words are coming out all weird
Where are you now when I need you?
Alone in an aeroplane
Falling asleep against the window pane
My blood will THICKEN.

I need to wash myself again to hide all the dirt and pain
I'd be scared that there's nothing underneath
And who are my real friends?
Have they all got the bends?
Am I really sinking this low?

My baby's got the bends
We don't have any real friends
I'm lying in a bar with my drip feed on
talking to my girlfriend waiting for something to happen
I wish it was the sixties
I wish I could be happy
I wish, I wish, I wish that something would happen.

Where do we go from here?
The planet is a gunboat in a sea of fear
Where are you?
They brought in the CIA
The tanks, and the whole marines to blow me away
To blow me sky high.

My baby's got the bends
We don't have any real friends
I'm lying in a bar with my drip feed on
talking to my girlfriend waiting for something to happen
I wish it was the sixties
I wish I could be happy
I wish, I wish, I wish that something would happen.

I want to live and breathe
I want to be part of the human race.
Hear a great song lately? Let us know! Leave a comment below.

Bush's Latest Brain Teaser--A Rhetorical Rubik's Cube

"America must confront threats before they materialize." George W. Bush, Cincinatti Post, 05/05/2004.
Isn't that a little bit like saying we must shovel the yard before it snows? Or, if you prefer, we must put out the fire before it starts. Another nice one would be to say that we must kill the murderer before he attacks his first victim. (That sounds an awful lot like Minority Report!)

Sure, there are some naysayers out there who could find examples where this form of logic might actually fly. I suppose that you could take birth control to prevent impregnation before you have sex. (We all know where Bush stands on that one! Abstinence only, ladies and gentlemen!) Also, one might argue that you should drink water before you're thirsty. Even so, we're getting away from the brainteaser itself.

How can you confront a threat that hasn't materialized yet? If it hasn't materialized yet, it is obviously not a threat. To confront a threat that is immaterial seems impossible and downright silly to me. Plus, Saddam Hussein was much more of a threat back in the 80's when America was busy selling him all those Weapons of Mass Destruction (yes, they existed, up until the First Gulf War under Bush Sr., when some pretty intelligent bombs turned them into confetti). So, basically, what Bush is advocating is going back in time to when Ronald Reagan was selling all those dangerous arms to Hussein in the 80's and to stop Reagan from making such a shoddy decision.

Mr. Bush, while you're back in time, could you do us a favour and tell the CIA and MI5 not to train Osama Bin Laden and his Afghani Mujaheddin Resistance Fighters? Sure, they were indispensable in booting the Ruskies out of Afghanistan, but they've been a real pain in the WTC since then. (The CIA denies that they participated in Bin Laden's training. Then again, they wouldn't admit to ordering a pizza. They're just very secretive, I guess! Still, this fact has been documented in various places.)

Disney Blocks New Michael Moore Film from North American Theatres

Michael Moore is no stranger to controversy. Ever since he first stepped into the public eye, he has been trying to shake things up and he doesn't make many friends--his take-no-prisoners brand of Celluloid Activism has already made him a pariah in Republican circles, and I'm sure that there are at least a couple of CEO's whom would gladly put a price on his head--but this time, he may have poked his face in the wrong bee's nest.

Disney has decided to block distribution of his latest film, Fahrenheit 9/11, from appearing in North American theatres. The New York Times reported that Disney's reason for halting the release was because they were afraid that they might lose some of their tax incentives in Florida if they authorized a film that criticized the president. Although Disney executives have refuted this claim, they did express reservations about releasing a film that could "alienate many." The unnamed Disney executive who was quoted in the NY Times article also said, "It's not in the interest of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle."

Disney has the power to halt the release of the film, legally anyhow, because they own Miramax, the production company responsible for it's creation. When Disney purchased Miramax in 1993, their agreement specified that Disney could block any movie release that had an adult rating or that went over budget. Although Fahrenheit 9/11 does not meet these criterion, it will be difficult for Miramax to change the outcome of the decision because of their parent company's enormous might. Disney has more money than some small nations.

In response to the Disney decision, Michael Moore said,

"(T)here's nothing they can do about it now because it's done, it's awesome, and if I have anything to say about it, you'll see it this summer -- because, after all, it is a free country."
Even if the film doesn't reach North American theatres, the overseas rights have already been sold to other companies so Europe may still get a chance to see what the fuss is about. In any case, this will surely create an enormous buzz which will guarantee that it becomes a box-office smash just like Bowling for Columbine, his previous film which earned Moore an oscar. Fahrenheit 9/11 will also be competing at the Cannes Film Festival and may garner the nod for Best Documentary or Best Film.

Personally, I feel that Disney is proving to be very Anti-American by refusing to let the truth be told. Why did they allow Miramax to produce the damned thing if they were going to waffle and try to censor it after the fact? It is an election year and they don't want to cause a ruckus but this will only hurt the Bush Administration because it will make Moore's movie into a "Cause Celebre" and everybody will rush to see it as soon as they get the chance. Also, they're giving it all sorts of free press... (hmm, I can see how this is a Win-Win situation for Disney: If the film is blocked, they gain an ally in BushCo.; if the film is released, they earn thirty-odd million dollars to throw in their Scrooge McDuck Vault. Those brilliant bastards!)

Then again, this sinister type of censorship could have prevented monstrosities like "Mighty Ducks II" or "The Haunted Mansion" from ever making it past the cutting room floor. The funny thing is, Disney didn't prevent Miramax from releasing "Kill Bill Vol. II", an intrinsically violent slash-fest made by the blood fetishist himself, Quentin Tarrantino. I guess that it didn't make any political stands, so it was palatable for the masses. Give me a break.