Where were you when...?

If you were at the Pixies, you heard the news a little later than most.
Fish Griwkowsky

The Pixies! Osama! The Pixies! Osama! Was that a weird night, or what? I was Tweeting my stupid observations about the music when an old friend of mine made fun of me in a message for talking about such things while the Osama bin Laden news broke — which I hadn’t actually heard yet. As Arts and Entertainment editor Curtis Wright observed, this made for a very strange soundtrack to what is, superficially at least, one of the biggest stories in the whole deliberately unwinnable “war on terror” narrative we’ve been fed for the last ten years. Yo, momma: Obama got Osama.

Up front, dreamlike, really, the Pixies went song-by-song through their seminal Doolittle which was surreal and unconcertlike in its way. It’s not typical to know exactly which track will play next at a show, after all, which was coupled strangely with the fact of running around telling strangers about the jubilantly celebrated murder of bin Laden. As I ran around with the news myself, NO ONE knew until this exact moment — about 9:45 — and then suddenly EVERYONE knew, as if a pulse of air had shot through the room, the digital “pass it on” utterly fulfilled. I recalled such moments — the TV going on at the Black Dog as Lady Di’s death-by-paparazzi took place, or U2 announcing to the crowd at B.C. Place Bill Clinton was president — and was struck how telepathic we’re becoming via our handhelds. Such a fundamental rock band playing music from such a specific time, 22 years ago, constellations of mobiles in the crowd in front of them taking photos and reading about a bogeyman long past his effective prime being shelved, it was all just so nuts. If you went back to 1989 and started telling someone about all this on the street, I think they’d quickly move away from you, assuming you were mentally batshit.

Kim Deal looked absolutely amazing, incidentally, smiling and grinning and cracking wise, Black Francis throwing his full weight into the old numbers like “Monkey Gone to Heaven” and “Wave of Mutilation” he would usually just medley together at the start of a solo show. I was craving songs from Bossanova the whole time, but hey, maybe they’ll hit that next, and maybe the moon will explode that night or something.

As of July 1, Rollie Pemberton III will be passing along the poet laureate mantle to … no one knows yet! The deadline for applications is May 20, find all the info at the Edmonton Arts Council site. As Mayor Mandell notes: “A rich history of poetic expression has begun to take shape through this program and we honour our Poet Laureate alumni who have set high standards for their successors.” Choosing Cadence Weapon, a suburban electronic hip-hop artist, as our poet laureate was one of the coolest things the city’s ever done, one of the things I usually boast about describing Edmonton to outsiders. You can find most of Pemberton’s work in his role as word ambassador at epl.ca/poet. You did a really great job, buddy.

Last note today, another baton passed — Amy Van Keeken’s Rock and Roll Singalong will be the main act at the Pride parade this year, a spot held a couple times by the Wet Secrets who, between the 10,003 other projects of its members (these including Capital City Burlesque, Whitsundays, Dirt City Films, Shout Out Out Out Out, making sandwiches) could use the break and hopefully finish that album up. Gay or not as you are, Pride is the most fun the Churchill Parking Lot gets, and this year’s theme is “Stand UP!” though “shake your ass” will certainly be in the business plan.


All Content Copyright © SEE Magazine 2008 About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Contest Disclaimer