Daily Archives: September 18, 2010

Saturday Night Video: Brits, 90s

After the 90s the English influence on North American music goes into an unmistakable decline.  Here are some tunes that were part of the last hurrah.  See “Brits, 80s” here.  Frye’s observations on rock ‘n’ roll here, here, and here.


My Bloody Valentine, “Soon”

This remarkable band is one of a kind but had a tragically short career that never allowed it to rise above the cult status it still retains.  Rumor has it that the readers of NME in Britain voted Loveless the best album of the decade, but that the editorial staff intervened and replaced it with Radiohead’s OK Computer; a great album to be sure, but maybe they should have left well enough alone.  By the way, the lyrics are supposed to be unintelligible and merely part of the dense of weave of sound that is the band’s hallmark.

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Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

On this date in 1942 the CBC was authorized.

Frye in “Across the River and out of the Trees”:

I have no space or expertise to tell the story of the golden age of the N[ational] F[ilm] B[oard] and CBC radio in the forties and early fifties.  That has been done before, and it is generally recognized that film and radio are the media of much the best work produced in Canadian culture.  The benefits extended into literature, through radio plays and such programs as “Anthology,” and Andrew Allan and Robert Weaver are names of the same kind of significance in Canadian writing that publishers like Briggs had in the nineteenth century.  Radio has also influenced, I think, the development of a more orally based poetry, more closely related to recitation and a listening audience, and popular in the way that poetry had not been for many centuries.  (CW 12, 560-1)

From the CBC Television archives, “Impressions of Northrop Frye,” first broadcast, September 2, 1973.  (As far as I can tell, this video clip is playable only in Internet Explorer.)