The New Decay

for those who love myusik

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Just a quick heads up about an event that's happening tomorrow at Canadian Mennonite Univeristy. As part of Mennonite Central Committee's annual relief sale, there is going to be a concert which is going to set out to explore the relationship between pop music and protest. The evening will feature my personal favorite Winnipeg artist, Chris Neufeld, plus long time Winnipeg musician Mike Koop, plus more and will be hosted by yours truley.

It looks like the concert will take the shape of a workshop (ala Winnipeg Folk Fest), and should be a blast. I'm going to give a short blurb about the messianic elements of music, focusing on David Byrne's attack on punk, purely through his squareness. Anywho, if your free from 7-9, this is definately worth checking out.


Globe and Mail music critic Carl Wilson (more importantly of is currently working on a book focusing on Celine Dion. His hope with the project is to find something redeemable in an otherwise repulsive artist. This has made me think a bit about who would be my 'Celine Dion.' Simon over at blissblog gives his bid for the Pogues, but I'm not so sure myself.

It seems to be that there is a difference between those bands whom you really detest, and those which cause an actual physical regurgitation. In fact, I would say its those band which almost convince you they're something worth listening to, when in actual fact they are not, that are more problematic, than those artists who cause you to force something back down. Take bands like BSS, Stars, or Death Cab For Cutie for example. I have serious issues with those groups, but would never say they almost make me spew.

Anyways, to make a long story short here are 10 artists or groups who I think might force a gag-reflex most. This is simply a list I've put together quickly so it's a bit predictable, and definately incomplete. So please feel free to add more if you'd like.

10.) Mike Love dominated Beach Boys - Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the Beach Boys. Endless Summer, Smile and Pet Sounds are three of the greatest records of the past 50 years. But Kokomo, and they're unfortunate dealings with Full House, are completely gag-worthy.

9.) John Williams (the composer, not the guitarist) - Star Wars is still one of my favorite movie soundtracks, but everything else this schmuck has done (most alongside the equally gagorific Spielberg) is just horrible.

8.) Ashley Simpson - Now, I actually don't mind Jessica Simpson that much ( I've even caught myself laughing once or twice at The Newlyweds), but Ashley simply makes me want to spew my guts out. She's so 'angry', so 'hard-done-by' she's quickly running out of cliche's to play on.

7.) Brian Adams - He should really be higher up on the list, but I'm still willing to admit that Robin Hood Prince of Thieves still gives me goose bumps, which does redeem him a bit (or at leaste Christian Slater).

6.) All 4 One - This spot could have gone to many of the 90's soul revival clan (ie. Boys to Men), but All 4 One are the worst of the worst. First of all, they have a number in their name. Secondly, "I Swear" is, to this day, one of the worst songs ever written. And finally, the band consists of one of the most missed-placed white guys I've seen in a long time.

5.) Weather Report - Sure Weather Report has some salvagable material from the 70s, but how can we forgive a band that gave us the most over-used High School vocal jazz song out there with 'Birdland'?

4.) Bette Midler - Do I really need to explain this one?

3.) Emo - So this isn't a band, but it sure is the worst kind of music to come out in the last 50 years. Whether it's the way too happy for their own good stylings of Fall Out Boy, or the 'what were they thinking?' lyrics of Simple Plan, Emo automatically creates that acidic feeling at the back of your throat you just can't get rid of.

2.) Anne Murray - I know this one's extra predictable, but after seeing a poster of her in bright red short shorts at umfm the other day I couldn't help myself. Anne Murray = retchorific.

1.) Great Big Sea - Ever since I saw Great Big Sea for the first time on Much Music, I've tried to rip them from my memory, but have been unsuccessful. Why? Why did such an aweful band have to come into existence? Their lead singer especially. Bad hair, annoyingly constant smile, and irritating lyrics, Great Big Sea is worse than fruit flavored alcohol.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Interesting musings over at blissblog on the liquidization of culture and music in the so called digital age. It seems as though Apple has recently launched a new add campaign for the ipod in which they refer to the music gathered on the ipod as a 'city of music.' The add features various shots of album covers dissolving into a mass of digital information only to be gathered up and formed into an ipod. Simon goes on to illustrate (through his analysis of Words and Music and Das Kapital), how this in effect strips music of its subversive potentialities, placing it wholly within the endless cycle of capital. Basically, he illustrates how Marx's claim that, through societies reliance on the constant exchange of capital, 'all that's solid melts into thin air' is yet again being shown, this time through the decaying of records into digital information. Definately worth reading (although it makes you want to burn your ipod).