Writing Gallery

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826 does Pitchfork (Part I)

This summer, a handful of students (ages 10-12) who are also budding rock and roll journalists made their way to the Pitchfork Music Festival in order to interview some of the biggest names in the indie music world. We'll be updating the Writing Gallery over the coming weeks with interviews they conducted with Best Coast, Surfer Blood, Beach House, Sleigh Bells, El-P and Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon.

This week, we bring you PART I of an interview with Charles from Broken Social Scene.

826CHI: Before you started your band, um, what group or band did you listen to most?

BSS: Huh. That’s a good question. My influences.

826CHI: Yes.

BSS: Well, I listened to a lot of different kinds of music. I listened to classical music, I listened to reggae, I listened to jazz, I listened to blues, I listened to a lot of different rock, I listened to heavy metal—are you getting all this?

826CHI: Is there any one band in particular that you liked the best?

BSS: Um, I think Yo La Tengo is probably my favorite band right now, and they have been for a long time.

826CHI: And why did you listen to them so much? Why did you like them so much?

BSS: They have a real variety in their music. They have really loud songs, they have really peaceful songs, they have, um, they just have such a broad spectrum. And they can be really noisy and really, um, dissonant and aggressive, but then they can be so peaceful and beautiful and, um, I think it’s sort of—it’s almost like everything that happens in life. You have all these different emotions and they have a song for all of them.

826CHI: Alright, um, what are the main musical instruments you use in your songs?

BSS: Another good question. Uh, for one thing, we all play a lot of different instruments, and it’s enjoyable to, um, to use your different talents, you know? I play trumpet, I play guitar, I play bass, I play a little bit of keyboards, as well. And, um, I like to use the different sounds of the different instruments because they express different feelings.

826CHI: And I’m sorry, I forgot to ask, did Yo La Tengo, did that band influence your music?

BSS: Yes.

826CHI: Um, did you all play—in a recording studio I could see how you’d all play—you could play the trumpet at one point and then you could go on a play something else, but when you’re on stage can you use every one?

BSS: Exactly, when we’re in the recording studio, a lot of the times we’re making the songs up as we go along, so we’ll start by recording the drums and guitar, and then we’ll listen back to it and say, “Ah, we’ll come up with a bass line and record the bass line.” And then record some keyboards, and the song kind of goes naturally like that. And then when it comes time to play it live, we have to figure out how to play it all together. So it’s like we have to relearn how to write the songs that we wrote.

826CHI: Um, how do you feel about playing in front of thousands of people?

BSS: Thousands? Am I gonna play in front of thousands of people?

826CHI: Hundreds…fifties…a bunch of people.

BSS: Uh, I feel honored. I feel honored to play in front of thousands of people. I think one of the biggest gifts that you can give somebody is your attention. It’s like they’re all giving me a gift. They’re all giving me their attention for a little while. And I think that that’s a very generous thing for that many people to do.

What If?

What if I was alone?
What if I wanted a warm home?
What if you didn't care?
What if I had lots to share?
What if I loved you?
What if this was the end?
What if I knew you hated me?
What if I knew deep down you had faith in me?
What if I didn't know?
What if I hadn't been shown?
What if I cried?
What if I had no pride?
What if my self- esteem was low?
What if I had no one to show?
What if i didn't know?
What if all i could do was write poems?
What if I didn't need him?
What if all of this was for a good reason?

The Medieval Paper

The Crusade is pointless. The Crusaders should be more Christian-like and ask politely if they could share the Holy Land. If they had thought about what they were going to do, like maybe killing many people, they would know they were breaking the commandment (Thou Shalt Not Kill) and will be sent to Hell.

The Crusade is happening because of greed. The Christians are forgetting all about their beliefs and practices and are going after the Holy Land. Greed is destroying their common sense and self control. Greed is also urging the Crusaders to conquer foreign lands. Its like kids and their toys: they forget about everything else and all they can think about is the new toy at the market. The Holy Land is just like that new toy. The greed is pulling the Crusaders to the Holy Land the same as the toy entices the child. The Crusade is pointless because it is a waste of time, men and money.

Operation: Cactus Trouble

Once upon a time in the very dry and vast Desolate Singing Desert there lived a secret agent named Bob-Larry. Bob-Larry was one of the most famous wormtle agents in all of the world. (A wormtle is a very special creature which is part worm and part turtle, and it makes him very good at being a special agent because he can hide like a worm but still has a hard shell to protect him.)

Bob-Larry was way cooler than all of the other wormtle agents, because not only was he made out of chocolate, but also, he could disguise himself as a stick whenever he was in trouble.

Every day, when Bob-Larry was not saving the world, he would spend his time racing rocket-equipped Volkswagens across the desert. Everyone he drove by had to shout out, “Punch buggy tie-dye!” because his rocket-equipped Volkswagen was tie-dyed blue, pink, and orange with a black peace sign on the hood.

One day, as Bob-Larry was sitting in his kitchen, getting ready to start the day, his banana phone started flashing. He answered the phone, which was his direct line to Paul Bunyan, who was the head of the Secret Agent Wormtle Agency, which was also known as SAWA.

“Yes, Chief?” questioned Bob-Larry.

Paul Bunyan replied, “Your greatest enemy Chuck-Charles is on the loose and being helped by his assistant, Miles Davis.”

“What’s going on here?” asked Bob-Larry.

“Chuck-Charles is chopping down all the magic purple cacti in the Desolate Singing Desert. You must stop them!”

What happens next?! Will Bob-Larry save the cacti? Why have Chuck-Charles and Miles Davis decided to chop down the cacti in the first place? Finish the story yourself, and send it to [email protected].

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