The Week in Music News (1/11 – 1/17): Owen Pallett’s Oscar nomination, Kim Gordon guest stars on Girls

...plus Wyrd Distro questioned, Beyonce's feminist essay, and much more.

- Jan 17, 2014

In 1998, a shell-shocked, white-suited Elliott Smith took the stage of the Academy Awards to perform his Good Will Hunting tune “Miss Misery.” That was somewhat of an anomaly in a category that constantly rewarded the Celine Dions and Randy Newmans of the industry, but Chart Attack-friendly musicians are showing up more and more at the film world’s biggest back-pat.

Yesterday morning, this year’s nominations were were announced, and though there were some head-scratchers (No Inside Llewyn Davis? Whatever this is?), there were also some huge silver linings: for one, Toronto golden boy Owen Pallett can now call himself an Oscar nominee, courtesy of Spike Jonze’s Her!

As we learned last year, not everyone affords such credence to gold statues and oversized novelty checks. After their much-ballyhooed “we love you so much / our country is fucked” begrudging 2013 Polaris Prize acceptance, Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Efrim Menuck spoke out about why they didn’t just withdraw their record from consideration: a fundamental misunderstanding of how the prize works.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! [FULL ALBUM]

But such arguments (or, for us polite Canadians, “discussions”) are important. And here’s another: Quick Before It Melts questioned Weird Canada’s upcoming FACTOR-funded Wyrd Distro for relying on “curation.” Is it just another version of exclusion that refocuses to the fringes? A valid point, though rebuking the distro for excluding hetero white males might not be the best way to make it.

Is Beyoncé a true feminist? That question is a popular one on the internet, and one that causes headaches to those who believe we should be looking outside the realm of capitalist-motivated pop music for our feminist role models. Either way, it’s not going to go away anytime soon (good): Mrs. Carter just wrote an essay called “Gender Equality Is A Myth

Beyoncé - Run the World (Girls)

Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore: still separated, still doing cool stuff. Kim showed up on the season premiere of Girls as “meth-faced Mindy,” while Thurston announced both the debut of his tenure with black metal supergroup Twilight and its dissolution. He also named his 38 favourite songs of all time.

TWILIGHT - Lungs (ALBUM TRACK)

And speaking of TV (and metal), The Simpsons had Judas Priest’s Rob Halford as a guest star, which was pretty cool. Not as cool: they misidentified the band as “death metal.” They apologized the only way they know how: with a chalkboard gag.

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