I've been listening to a lot of The Weakerthans as of late. The sparsity of their music, grounded as it is in what I'll prosaicly call "post-punk" has been striking the right chord with me lately...the right chord of January's desolation. Except that now it's February, and I'm not sure where that leaves me.
You know, there's that scene in Apocalypse Now where Dennis Hopper is talking to Martin Sheen about Col. Kurtz and says, "He's a poet-warrior in the classic sense." I really like that. I like that a lot. Especially in light of John K. Sampson's lyrics. I think what has been so appealing to me about The Weakerthan's music is that their lyrics are so grounded in Winnipeg--they have this weird, almost symbiotic relationship with the city. Left and Leaving, in particular, is just gorgeous. It's a love/hate letter, a myriadic reflection of what it is to be from Winnipeg...and, arguably, what it means to be from Canada.
My city's still breathing (but barely it's true) through buildings gone missing like teeth. The sidewalks are watching me think about you, all sparkled with broken glass. I'm back with scars to show. Back with the streets I know. They never take me anywhere but here.
--The Weakerthans, Left and Leaving
If I ever wind up teaching Canadian lit, I want to teach this. I'll post more about other goings on later--right now now I just want to think about this.