Your coverage of Shad is egregious and I will use big words to make my point
You force the music section to open Christie Blatchford’s mail, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two tickets to a Live Nation club show of your choice taking place in Vancouver within the next four weeks. Here’s this week’s winning whine.
Dear Payback Time: I was excited to open the Georgia Straight to a feature on Shad. I was disappointed to read a meandering mini career look-back. Perhaps just hype for LIVE at Squamish, but certainly some sort of angle could have been taken to provide a more stimulating read? The most obvious entry point into something more engaging than a list of his albums, popular songs, and lyrical themes was the second of two quotes in the article: “There’s this understanding that what we listen to doesn’t always mesh with our values.” It seems a pertinent quote, given the explosion in the popularity/revulsion of the Odd Future collective in the United States. The group polarizes listeners between those who cannot get past their violent, misogynistic, homophobic themes, and those who can, but still feel uncomfortable putting on their headphones. Could we have teased something more out of this conversation other than a reference to a T-shirt that was popular in 2007?
By the way, I was a little confused about the last dichotomy you presented in the opening paragraph. You mention that he is a fan of Alan Frew, with the intention of showing that he is free of pretension, his being excited to meet an aging rock star of a band that carries little currency. How is having Russell Peters a fan of his work the opposite of that? If he was a fan of Russell Peters, that would be a more appropriate fit for the lyrical device, though admittedly a weak comparison. Or if Frew was a fan alongside Peters, that could be considered a step in the right direction, but would of course offer no insight into the character of Shad. I would have probably written in if you had tried that one too.
> Nathan Moes
Mike Usinger replies: Dearest Nathan—For as long as we can remember, Tara Henley has been AWOL from these parts. Even longer, I might add, than professional water-chariot operator (and noted onion connoisseur) Sire Alexander Varty, Esq. The last time we heard from Henley, she was cheerily announcing her determination to haul up stakes and head to a fabled land where the sun never stops shining, at least during the months when it’s supposed to. Answering your letter, therefore, falls to me. From your final sentence, I can only infer that no matter what Ms. Henley wrote, you wouldn’t have been happy. The Alan Frew–Russell Peters segment reminded me of my Uncle Melvin right before he went into the rest home; subsequent highlights from said stay included him picking up his old-school television, dropping it from waist-height onto the floor, and screeching, “This is a hoax.” Which was funny, because it looked more like someone dropping a TV. As for the Odd Future part, umm, it wasn’t a story on Odd Future, it was a story on Shad. A story that I actually enjoyed. Much more, I might add, than the part of your letter about Alan Frew, whoever the hell he might be.
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