Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 7th 2011 - Last Show

Shellac - The End of Radio (Excellent Italian Greyhound)
Mi Ami - Cut Men (Cut Men 12")
Sonic Youth - Candle (Daydream Nation)
Polvo - Tragic Carpet Ride (Celebrate the New Dark Age)
Town Ship - Tecumseh (Future Confusion 7")
Pavement - Shoot the Singer (Watery, Domestic)
My Disco - Rivers (Little Joy)
Oneida - Sheets of Easter (Each One Teach One)

Follow my writing at FFWD Weekly and Tiny Mix Tapes. Follow me on Twitter and Rateyourmusic. Listen to my music on bandcamp, and follow Bitter Fictions news on this blog right here.

Here's the speech I wrote for my radio sign-off, since a few people asked me about it:
I've been hosting Each One Teach One since April 2008; for nearly four years I've been programming shows that have roughly coincided with the development of my own musical taste, with "noise-rock" being the main thing tying it all together. One thing I always tried to do with the show, however, was to not just present assorted selections of noise rock, post-hardcore, experimental, or other assorted forms of non-mainstream music--I intended to convey a sense of critical listening, a sense of thought that would convey a critical approach to contemporary music. I'm interested in where bands come from, how they develop -- what their influences are or which bands they influenced, analyzing them within a genre, or regionally, or sometimes even in relation to pop culture. Many would call this music nerdism, and I'm not going to disagree--but an attitude towards music I've always felt the need to rail against is one of complacency, or of non-critical acceptance. I find this attitude is extremely pervasive in mass culture, but also in Calgary as well--many shy away from critical attitudes towards music and art, and I find this very problematic because complacency breeds boredom.

I've seen far too many bands that continue to hack away at the bloated corpse of nostalgia, presenting yet another take on '60s garage rock or '80s commercialism because it's "fun," bands that hide behind studio trickery--both on the slick, hi-fi and obnoxiously lo-fi ends, bands that were seemingly formed just to get played on the CBC, bands that sound like other bands that were irritating the first time around. Bands that make music thinking it's a unique form of expression, when in fact their music is totally homogeneous, or has been done before, or is flat-out unnecessary. I understand and support listening to music for 'fun,' but to claim music is only for fun is reductive and something I find obnoxious at best, and moronic at worst. It negates music as a form of art, as a form of cultural and/or personal expression, as something that can be challenging, intellectually stimulating, or even rewarding beyond the most shallow definition. I value music too much to place it in a footnoted, "only for fun" designation. To see music as just entertainment, and entertainment as reassurance--as much of my generation have grown to accept, given the rampant popularity of the utter garbage that continues to pollute the airwaves--I didn't think music could get much worse than the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but here we are with Korn releasing a dubstep album and a band called LMFAO topping billboard charts--is very off-putting to me.

I'd like to say a few things, and hope that Each One Teach One, as a show, has helped convey them. Ask yourself if you're satisfied or complacent in your musical tastes: if yes, try to think of why. How are those tastes informed--did you come to them on your own? Did you actively go out and search? Did you learn from your friends? Did you learn them from a publication? Unless you feel as if you've truly exhausted your interest in music, I'm going to say that you're missing out: now, more than ever, the opportunity to hear and learn about any type of music is easier to grasp than ever. There is always something out there to discover, even if it involves wading through a bunch of junk. Ask yourself if what you're hearing speaks to you, or if you find it interesting or worthwhile: if so, that's fantastic--can you think of why? And if not, why are you listening to it? Did a magazine tell you it was the best album of the year? Are you a fan of an album because it's been canonized, like so much turgid '70s rock and tired, outdated punk foundations?

As for why I'm quitting Each One Teach One: there's a combination of reasons. Radio is one of the more immediate formats of mass communication, but frankly, I'm not sure that it's one I'm particularly fond of. What is the job of the radio programmer/host? At the basest level, to program the music and announce it to whomever is listening. This doesn't interest me anymore, nor has it for for several months. Communicating about art will inevitably yield abstractions--I can play you a song on the radio and proclaim it to be from a favourite artist of mine, yet this doesn't really mean much: I'm speaking to a vague ether, a one-way communicative act where my efforts may or may not be received. It's not perfect, but for a while, I was fine with this. For a while now, however, my priorities have changed--when it comes to communicating about music to a mass audience, I've found that writing is more rewarding for me--it's more stimulating, my work is read by a much larger, and more receptive, audience. It's also something that I have a talent for, and is something I'm more willing to indulge my free time with. Since starting at CJSW, I've become involved with a few different publications, and have reached a point where I feel more inclined to write reviews and critical articles than to put together a radio program every week, which has become more of a chore than a fun or particularly meaningful activity for me. Being on the radio is a privilege, and it's one I've been happy to maintain for several years--but it's time to leave "well enough" alone, and spend my time intensifying what I've been building towards for the last several years.

So thank you so much for listening to Each One Teach One. I'd like to give major thanks to my girlfriend Megan, whom I met through the station--she's always been my number one fan, always tuning in. If you've liked Each One Teach One, you should definitely listen to her show, Off Duty Trip, on Wednesday afternoons from 2 to 4. You should also listen to Whitney's show White Lodge / Black Lodge, on Tuesday afternoons, also from 2 til 4. I'd also like to thank Kevin and Stan, for being with me in critical attitude towards music, as well as for driving me home after wrapping up the show in these late night timeslots. Thanks also to the many station members and listeners who have been receptive to what I've done, and hopefully to what I continue to do. If you're interested in following what I'm doing now, I'll be completely self-promotional in my last bit of time on here: first, I've been writing reviews and articles for FFWD Weekly here in Calgary for over a year now, and you can read my work in that paper and on their website almost every week. I've also started writing with Tiny Mix Tapes.com out of Chicago, where I submit weekly articles on revisiting old music--stuff from "hey check out this lost gem," to more cultural connections, such as how a band has had an impact or influence on music, to be somewhat vague. I've also been creating music under the name Bitter Fictions--you can listen to my new album Looper Pedal Blues at bitterfictions.bandcamp.com. Tonight's playlist will be posted at eachoneteachonecjsw.blogspot.com. Thanks again for listening--my name is Devin Friesen, and I'll be closing the show off with a track from the show's namesake: here's Oneida with the song "Sheets of Easter," from their 2002 album Each One Teach One.

That's it. Bye!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October 31st 2011

Since it was Halloween night, here's a foreboding playlist...

Live Skull - Fort Belvedere (Cloud One)
Sonic Youth - Society is a Hole + I Love Her all the Time (Bad Moon Rising)
Broken Water - Spore (Whet)
Clockcleaner - Pissing at the Moon (Auf-Wiedersehen)
Songs: Ohia - Cross the Road, Molina (Didn't it Rain)
Unwound - One Lick Less + Scarlette (Leaves Turn Inside You)
Hovercraft - De-Orbit Burn

Last show next week!