Friday, November 06, 2009

Well tonight, thank god, it's them instead of you-know-who

Band Aid. Band Aid II. Band Aid 20. And now... Do They Know It's Christmas is going to have a fourth incarnation - organised by Fucked Up.

Yes, it's going to be sort-of-all-star:

Talking to Vulture, [Pink Eyes] listed off some of the people involved: "David Cross, members of Vampire Weekend, TV on the Radio, Broken Social Scene, the GZA, Bob Mould, No Age, and Yo La Tengo are all confirmed. I'm still waiting on confirmation from Feist, Jarvis Cocker, and M.I.A. We wanted the biggest people we could get. If we could get a Jonas Brother on this, I would get a Jonas Brother."

Yes, it going to be doing a lot of good work for charity:
"[T]he single will benefit "a few different organizations, like Justice for the Missing, that are affiliated with the 500 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. That number is an old official statistic that the government uses, but the number is probably closer to 3,000. It’s not like cancer or AIDS. Those are worthy causes but they have big fund-raising machines. This is an undocumented, underreported crime that’s been going on for years. And while this is for Canadian organizations, the same sort of thing is going on at the U.S.-Mexico border, with Mexican women going missing, and in Australia, with aboriginal women there."

The whole thing is being funded with the cash Fucked Up won when they scooped the Polaris prize earlier this year.

You're wondering why, aren't you?
"I liked the idea of somewhat marginalized indie rockers coming together for a marginalized cause ... There's a kind of cavalier colonialism to the original, like the West has to go in and help this poor Third World country. But the charities that we're trying to help are exactly a product of this colonial history. People who have been subjugated and oppressed for so many years are going missing. So there's an irony to using the song."

It's fair enough, although it's not entirely clear that there's very much difference between Midge Ure helping the starving of Ethiopa and one of Vampire Weekend assisting the brutalised of North America in terms of colonial descendants assisting those who lost out in colonisation, apart perhaps from a bit of self-awareness. And even then, suggesting that being on an indie distro gives you some sort of common cause - even with a gentle tongue-in-cheek - might wipe out whatever self-awareness there might be.


3 comments:

Olive said...

Are you writing pieces for the Onion in your spare time, Simon? "Bob Mould and Yo Lo Tengo collaborate on cover of 'Do They Know it's Christmas?'"

simon h b said...

I'm not sure if "we've got Vampire Weekend - we wanted the biggest people we could get" wasn't just taking the piss in the first place...

Olive said...

I take it that the b-side is going to be an instrumental, with recorded messages from Amusement Parks on Fire and the bass player from Buffalo Tom wishing everyone a merry christmas and apologising for not being able to make it?

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