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specifically Re: EC bands and social conscience.

	This is basically for James, but you might want to read it, too.

On Sun, 12 May 1996, james r. covey wrote:

> all right, y'all knew i wouldn't be able to
> stay quiet on *this* topic.  :-)
> i'm not sure if aaron and heather were on sloan
> net the last time we beat this horse to death,

no, I wasn't, were you aaron?

> but we did have a thread on this topic just a
> little while ago.  there was a big debate between
> the "why aren't people doing something?" side and
> the "hey man, it's just pop music" people.  in the
> time since i've reflected a bit on this question
> and i guess i still think that more could be done
> in this town.  but i think i have some problems
> with the *specifics* that heather and tara raise.
> - the fact is, quite a number of benefit gigs
>   do in fact take place here.  yes, there could
>   be more.

saying "yes" to someone booking a rock show isn't a political statement!

> - keep in mind that the indie-rock musicians and
>   fans are often a bit older than the DC scenesters
>   were.  and being older entails all those things
>   like not seeing the world in such b&w terms, not
>   looking so much to cultural inputs like music to
>   make up one's mind about things, etc.  none of
>   which is conducive to social dogma music a la minor threat.
>   even bruce cockburn eventually had to lighten up.  :-)

social awareness does not equal social dogma. the DC punk scene is a lot 
more than Ian Mackaye's personal thoughts (and he's what - 30 now?) What I 
was suggesting was the straight edge philosophy of being aware of 
your surroundings and your community, and your role in it.

> - heather, are 
you implying that local alternative 
bands >   are homophobic for not playing gay bars?  surely that's
>   overstating the case.  have you ever personally heard
>   of a local indie-rock band turning down such a booking?
>   i never have -- it would totally surprise me if i did.
>   i can't conceive of either A) a gay bar in halifax giving
>   two shits about indie rock B) a local indie rock band
>   turning down a paying gig!  someone please prove me wrong.  :-)

the stone wall has been holding indie rock gigs and open mic 
nights ever since it opened, and if local bands wanted to support Hfx gay 
culture, they wouldn't be sitting by the phone waiting for a paying gig 
to be offered to them, they'd be out booking the shows for themselves.

> - also, it's pretty ridiculous, heather, to be attacking
>   the only indie-rock band in halifax of the past couple of
>   years, namely spine, who actually wrote about these issues
>   you seem to care so much about *in their songs*.  after
>   the songs they wrote, all the benefits they played, you'd
>   think they'd be the last band on any politically-aware
>   person's hit list.  but it seems like you have a personal
>   grudge against the band which, not to put too fine a point
>   on it, you should take up with them via private email instead
>   of whining about it on sloan net.  sorry for being so harsh
>   but it just seems so contradictory to me.

No, I don't have a personal grudge against the band. Planned Parenthood 
went out of their way for them, and they were completely thoughtless. 
"heh heh, we get to give out condoms" Maybe you don't care that the 
condoms they kept weren't given out at Planned Parenthood's next event at 
Halifax West, but numbers matter. They took it as a cool freebie, and put 
absolutely no commitment into the organisation that supported them. How 
much does 500 condoms cost? How much gov't funding does Planned 
Parenthood get? It adds up. No one waved a wand to get them.
	Besides, they're Knuckles in England now.

> - finally, about simple machines vs. cinnamon toast.  simple
>   machines is two women who may as well be twins.  cinnamon
>   toast is five different people with differing agendas.
>   it's gotta be a lot harder for them to be of one mind on
>   social issues.  don't you think so?  it doesn't surprise
>   me that they haven't got a dogmatic political agenda.  but
>   considering all they've done to support the otherwise
>   ignored female artists in this scene, they hardly seem
>   like fair targets to me either.  

Yeah, Kristen and Jenny recorded evry single song on all the benefit 
singles, did all the production, and hand wrote each insert. No one else 
helped them. Oh, and yeah, they're dogmatic, too. Supporting local venues 
like the black cat club, is TOTALLY 
fundamentalist, you're right. 
Putting out a record with a woman performing on it isn't an act of social 
justice, though. Hasn't seeing Kim Campbell everywhere since her book 
came out reaffirmed that for you? Besides, what women in Halifax allowed 
themselves to be "otherwise ignored" in town before Cinnamon Toast found 

James, this was your big chance to nail me by talking about what CKDU has 
done for you and your community. To talk about how local people, involved 
with community/campus radio empowered themselves by documenting the local 
music that mattered to them. But, no, you had to defend Cinnamon 
toast's right to be apolitical. I never said they were a bad label! I think 
there's a lot more to simple machines than a $2 booklet, and I wish more indie 
labels would pick up on that. In a perfect world, every cinnamon toast 
single is a CKDU benefit single.

> sure, more could be done.  but i hardly see how cutting down
> the only people who show signs of giving a shit is going to 
> create a more politically aware populace or an atmosphere
> more conducive to activism.
> as usual, just my $0.02.
> james
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>      _James R. Covey <jrcovey\!/ac.dal.ca>_    sloan net is a discussion of the
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