Now, I do not read the Pitchfork reviews much. I do not read the Pitchfork much at all. I used to, but the yelling at the screen that inevitably occured was scaring my coworkers.
Today, after returning from holiday in a town without computers, I was asked if I had seen the Final Fantasy review. "Will it make me yell?" "Yes." "Then I will go look at it now."
For the record, I did not yell. I just sweared a lot. Also, I said something about Pitchfork being up the Arcade Fire's ass, but that has already been talked about enough (in less vivid terms).
On Jeopardy the other week, one of the categories was "Canada, eh?" (people/places/things in Canada that begin with the letter A). I live in Toronto, but my Canadian history knowledge is limited due to the majority of my high school history being taught by a senile man who constantly asked us where the tape dispenser was. But even that man, were he still alive, could have answered those Jeopardy questions. This lead to more yelling.
"Since when is Canada so very exotic and mysterious?"
This was yelled at Jeopardy (sorry, Alex Trebek), but today I yelled it at the Pitchfork review. Then I asked where the tape dispenser was.
I love Final Fantasy, live and on record, and I have never wished Joanna Newsom were a man. Still, I don't expect it to get a perfect review. I just didn't think it would get such a quaint review. Owen is not writing songs from a fishing shack in Newfoundland. Please, quit it already with the magical and foreign Canada crap. Every year, a new province is the new Seattle. C'mon. Just listen to the record and quit staring at the map.
Owen makes reference to Canadian culture, just like people everywhere make reference to things relevant to them. Pitchfork's claim that the "gems of genuine Canadian lyricism" on the album are "she has not been able to sleep/ Since the days of Trudeau" is crap. "I'd rather give my life to god-as-man than have to line up at the bank again" is the true gem. Either that, or "don't let your cock do all the work/NO NO NO!"
The last time Owen played, he explained that "That's When the Audience Died" (the song from which the Trudeau line is taken) is about Canada. No, he didn't sail away on the HMS YAY!CANADA!
It was about the whole cultural patriotism that says being Canadian is special. Yeah, we live in Canada and, yeah, it's a good place to live. But that doesn't mean Margaret Atwood is royalty. It's like we're the retarded country, mittens pinned to coats, and isn't it incredible when we do something great? Have you seen the Canadian Walk of Fame? Sorry, no, it's been covered in snow for ten months. Even when the snow melts, though, you'll be wondering "who the fuck is this star for?" and then you'll remember that they were running low on CanCon and just included that one guy who was on that one show that one time.
I'm not Owen, and I'm not going to say "That's When the Audience Died" is a more lyrical summary of the above paragraphs. Still, it's not so far off. The fact that Pitchfork called that particular song a gem, drawing attention to its (OOH! EXOTIC!) Canadian lyricism, completely misses the point. Okay, you like Canada right now. Great. Picking a song that points out the shortfalls in supporting something just for a sense of national pride isn't a great way to prove your point.
What in the hell do I know?
I still can't find my mittens (or the gddm tape dispenser).