Eating the Canadian version of crow
This week from Sam and Josiah.
Sam Sutherland with lasers and smoke, Dundas Video, July 8. Photo by Daniel Halyburton.
As promised, Sam and I actually had “a call” this week, and I thought about snapping a screenshot for this here newsie, but it felt better to just keep it to ourselves. Also it was less like the pod version of a secret Fugazi jam and more like two old guys catching up on the horn. I don’t think I even said any microaggressions to him. But maybe I can do that here.
Here’s some stuff we’re thinking about this week.
KennyHoopla “T SHIRT//”
Sam: He’s back! Travis’ best lil protege guy popped up at some blink shows recently (not googling but someone shared a video on Discord and it looked sick) and here he is putting those old LOSERS on notice with a v v Pants // Jacket-era BANG-er that DEFINITELY has Skiba in the bridge right?? This whole cheekily titled release (BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS IT// 😉😉😉) is pretty good but the first song reminds of Small Brown Bike and the SECOND one is KIND OF giving MGK so this is my pick for the nicest boy. I want to go run through a sprinkler!!
Jos: Sometimes I get a little lost in Sutherland prose and start to feel confused by the cadence, which is why I first read this as Sam saying he wanted to pick the nicest boy to run through a sprinkler. And I’m just not sure it’s appropriate for you to be washing someone else’s boy, Sam. I don’t listen to pop-punk or blink-182 anymore, but KennyHoopla is goated. This song is sick as hell, and the scanned art is insanely satisfying to look at. I hope KennyHoopla keeps getting bigger and leaves all these blink losers behind.
CHERYM “Taking Up Sports”
Sam: I’ve already written about this band in the newsletter but if you’re making music that sounds anything like this I’m sorry but I am spiritually obligated to include it. It’s summer and I’m lovesick! It’s the 90s and soundtracks will never die! From a pure volume standpoint pop punk-adjacent music is generally better than most actual pop-punk let’s just face facts!
Jos: Is the premise of this song kinda “sportsball” vibes? I’m lowkey becoming a bigtime sportsball guy, but specifically sports that I can get into via docuseries, from the Wrexham football club to the pure schadenfreude of watching Guenther Steiner lose everything every week in F1. I even watched those Netflix series about tennis and golf, and now I know who some of the players are. This is all my way of trying to fill up the blurb without admitting that I didn’t really like this, and then was pushed over the edge when they started harmonizing the “olé” song in the bridge. A lil too “sportsball” for me.
Hannah Diamond “Affirmations”
Jos: Because I’m an old man who stopped really trying to pay attention a long time ago, I still think of PC Music as being this big, important entity. And maybe in some pop anthropology lineage, it is. But those guys have mostly been absorbed into the big machine and they’re producing for bigger and bigger people. That means Hannah Diamond is left behind to make something that sounds like PC Music but without any of the stuff that makes it mid 2010s thinkpiece fodder. There’s no more tongue in cheek, it’s just a nice lil synth pop song that still has the AutoTune chops but it’s a sweet little feelgood song inspired by the fact that Hannah’s affirmations mood board was in the shot behind her on a Zoom call with her producers. What a nice lil tune.
Sam: SPRINKLER TIME!! PC Music was maybe the last time I felt remotely ahead of the cultural curve on something (even though I was already years late and absorbing opinions from a few cooler people in my orbit). In an era where all the descendents of this scene are seemingly in an arms race to create the most annoying “cosmic gumbo” possible, hearing a very good and nice song is such a sweet relief. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I am simply enjoying.
Yves Jarvis “Still Stained”
Jos: Jean Sebastian-Audet is likely one of the musicians I’ve followed for the longest of, at least, his life. When he was like 12 or something his band Faux Fur would open for Grown-Ups all the time in Calgary. He’s gone through many iterations, many of which I’ve written about at various points throughout my “career,” but it’s Yves Jarvis where he keeps finding, losing, and reinventing himself. After last year’s impeccable The Zug (this song fucking rules), he seems to have found even deeper vibes with “Still Stained.” There are still layers upon layers of noodles and chops (damn I’m hungry), but he’s brought it full circle back to some kind of deeply accessible pop territory. That means it’s a song that works just as well if you’re paying full attention or just letting it play in the background.
Sam: DAMN FUCK DAMN. Kind of wished it was just “It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” when it started and was going to be SNARKY about it but I left THAT guy in LONDON. When this song basically goes Sicko Mode and changes keys before returning to the original key? Is that what’s happening? Josiah is right this is just a nice vibe but then when you listen closely you are like FUCK. Wowza!
Jos: The title of this week’s newsletter comes from a blurb wherein I had been hesitant to enjoy a new piece of Canadian culture, because I hate all current Canadian culture. In particular I hate all Canadian film and television. Yet, against my best instincts, I passively pressed play on something and, perhaps in a rare moment of optimistic idealism, was surprised to find I enjoyed it. This compounded with a strange sense of posi hyperbole, which then led me to “eat the Canadian version of crow.” Perhaps things aren’t so bad after all. Agreeable as always while half paying attention, Sam echoed my sentiments based on a snippet alone. But then tonight he tried out the full thing and, in great detail, laid out exactly why it’s bad due to who is involved. Thank you, Sam, for calling me in and not letting me enjoy things. Canadian culture is still bad, and I’m not eating the Canadian version of crow. Which I had joked was Blue Jay, but that’s not very funny anyway.
Free every Friday.