Saturday, September 26, 2009

Effing Eff

For about six months, I've been claiming to like Holy Fuck, the electronica band from Toronto. As it turns out, the band I actually like is Fucked Up, the hardcore band from Toronto. Guys? Seriously. I can only handle so many obscenity-laced band names from Toronto. One of you couldn't be the Sweet Little Kittens or something? I'm not saying it has to be totally random, but it'd be nice if I could keep my musical tastes straight and tell my parents which one I like. ("I like Holy Eff. Wait, do I? No, I like Effed Up. I think. Probably. Mom, I gotta go.")

Anyway, the ones I like - Fucked Up, probably, I think - just won the Polaris prize. I love the Polaris, mostly because my high school buddy Graham has been nominated twice, but also because Canadian music is pretty awesome. I know there was some controversy over how blah the short list for the Polaris was this year - I mean, Metric's okay, but Emily Haines isn't saving the world or anything. It was nice to see the screaming fat guy with the outrageously-named band take home the twenty grand.

Awesomely, Fucked Up are apparently going to use their winning cash monies to produce a benefit album for all the native women who have disappeared out West. Brav-o, guys. I crush out when a band takes their indie cred and critical earnings and channels that into do-gooding all over the place. Unless that band happens to be U2, in which case, I just want to make that smug bastard Bono eat The Edge's mustache. I love complications, and Fucked Up, with their nudity, obesity, animosity, and generosity, are damned complicated.

Despite the fact MTV banned them, and they rarely get along well enough to be in the same room together, and their name makes it impossible for them to get commercial radio play (although the Ceeb is pretty keen on them), they're somehow living large. It's like the happy-ending version of Death. You're heard of Death, right? No? Quelle surprise. A trio of brothers from Detroit, black kids who were R&B until they stumbled onto Alice Cooper, make awesome proto-punk that nets them label support until they refuse to change their name to something that won't make housewives faint when they hear it on the radio. Thirty years later, the few pressings that did make it out into the world are selling for megabucks on eBay, and their careers are relaunched. Ta da! What a drag.

Luckily, we don't have to wait until 2042 to hear Fucked Up, because they are awesome. (And seriously, what kind of wimp is afraid of a band called Death? Pfft.) Even if the name is off the beaten path - an honor shared with hip-hop heads CunninLynguists and the aforementioned Holy Fuck - the music speaks louder than curse words.

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