From the archives: September 2007

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Deadbeatniks and live jazz

Tuesday, 4 September 2007 — 2:02am | Jazz, Music

I don’t like writing obituaries—not just for the obvious reason that it’s generally unappealing to write about dead people all the time, but primarily because there are too many people out there who make an impact on our lives or culture, however large or small. Somebody important—distant, personal, or somewhere in between—is going to die every week, maybe even every day.

That said, I received the news of Doug Riley’s passing with profound regret. (That’s Hammond B3 master Doug Riley to you, mister. And he’s no slouch at the pianner either.) And wherefore regret? It’s quite simple: he played in Edmonton so often, but I never took the opportunity to see him. I’ve certainly heard him on CBC’s jazz programmes often enough to revere his acumen as one of our country’s premier keyboardists, but it’s not quite the same thing.

The experience of a live jazz concert differs from recorded music in a way that is, in my reckoning, quite different from how most other genres operate. Perhaps the most instructive testament to this, or at least, the one freshest in my memory, is the modern jazz legend I did see: guitarist Bill Frisell, who played with his trio in Calgary last Thursday in the delightful venue that is Quincy’s on Seventh.

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No Scat Left Behind

Monday, 3 September 2007 — 4:30pm | Computing, Studentpolitik

I have remained silent about the Bear Scat debacle over the course of its development this summer, but I think it’s high time to decloak.

Any casual observer of student politics over the span of more than a few years can tell you that between the quick turnover time between successive executives or councils and the erratic fluctuation of institutional memory (if any is still around to fluctuate), nothing sticks, and apathy comes naturally. I’m long past the point where I can rely on the student government to commit to anything reliably, and you should be too.

That said, the U of A Students’ Union occasionally bumbles its way into something that actually impacts students, and that’s when it’s time to intervene—if it’s not too late. As such, I am going to provide a cursory analysis, and at the very end, propose a course of action.

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