Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lonely End Of The Rink
I invented a new game while driving back and forth between Rochester (1) last week: Imagine The Tragically Hip In A Different Context (2).

For instance, had Gord Downie's acceptance speech/poem (3) from the non-televised half of the Juno Awards a couple years ago in Winnipeg been delivered by Owen Pallett at the recent Polaris Prize ceremony it would not have been met with a shrug and then soon forgotten. Instead it would have become holy grail to the Final Fantasy faithful. The over/under on subsequent blog posts would have been something like 3,000 (4). In fact, there would probably be at least three blogs dedicated to discussing and debating Pallett's precious verse.

Or let's say In View, the first single off The Hip's new record, was instead the first single off the next Arcade Fire record (5). Actually, I'm not entirely convinced it isn't an Arcade Fire song, but if it were released under their name, it probably would have gone down as one of the most beloved in the history of music blogs. Hands down winner as Pitchfork's single of the year. Probably would have made the Stereogum dude cry.

Other scenarios to debate: Family Band, the second last track on World Container, would be the second-best Killers' track of the year. And if Gord Downie were 30 years old right now, he would be Kevin Drew.

Anyway. Also while driving between Toronto and Rochester I decided that the Tragically Hip are the Canadian band most responsible for the current generation of Canadian rock. Much of the best music of the last four years was either implicitly or explicitly influenced by The Hip. Or it was created in almost direction reaction to them. I'm entirely convinced of this.

I'm also fairly certain it's always a bad idea to listen to the photographer who says, "Yes, just put this scarf on and, um, how bout you sit in front of this fire place and, yeah, perfect." He or she does not have your best interests at heart.

(1) Rochester in four words: Like Buffalo. Only smaller.
(2) The home version should be in stores in time for Christmas.
(3) A transcript was once posted on The Hip's website but then they re-designed and it was lost to this mysterious series of tubes. It was entitled We Are The Next Us and basically celebrated all that has become The Hip, while attacking those who use the "it's not the band I hate, it's their fans" line of argument to slur them. That probably doesn't sound very exciting, but you have to believe me, it's great. Once I track down a copy, I'll post it here.
(4) Granted, that wouldn't have made as much sense coming from Pallett.
(5) On MuchMusic right now - Skee-lo's I Wish I. I love that he's rocking a University of Michigan jersey. I still find him 200% less ridiculous than Mad Child. Stop scowling dude. You're fooling no one.

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