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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Short Take on Petra Haden

I can’t seem to stop listening to Petra Haden‘s newest album, Petra Goes To The Movies (Anti-), which I bought two days ago. Brilliantly moving versions of various film musics, from John Williams to Bernard Herrmann, made by overdubbing her voice using a similar approach to her cover of The Who Sell Out. The layered, shifting densities of her voice, her voices, her voicings — alternately playful and ardent — are really and truly moving. She has a way of finding the heart of a song, of making it breathe. Her simple duo with Bill Frisell, “I Might Be You” (the Dave Grusin song from Tootsie) is a standout. She feels her way along the melody, bouyed up by the spare chords and fragile twangling of Frisell’s guitar. A fantastic record.


Hungry” was composed in the last few days in reaction to the hunger strike by Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence. As a non-Native Canadian, I’m concerned to express solidarity with her cause while trying to avoid as far as possible some of the pitfalls of advocacy. The Attawapiskat were among the last to sign the adhesion to Treaty 9on July 28, 1930. Stan Dragland offers an important reading of Duncan Campbell Scott’s often disturbing poetry around this treaty in his Floating Voice (Anansi, 1994).