Wide variety of responses to the FACTOR post. I think because I have the audacity to say that a lot of Canadian music is terrible that people got confused and thought that my biggest beef with FACTOR was that I didn’t like any of the bands who got the most amount of funding.
That is only partly true.
I mean, is it really a surprise that I do not like THE TREWS? I I can’t think of a less deserving band. I could care less about METRIC or STARS, seriously. Not for me. What about Midway State, who have been given almost $400,000? I couldn’t find one person who had even heard of them. But this is beside the point.
The FACTOR post is not about my taste in music or bands. I should have just left the out the top bands and focused on the companies and businessmen who are living a comfortable existence by sucking these programs dry. The problem is best articulated by Toronto label Out of this Spark, and their description of the have/have not labels in Canada. I know another specific case where a band got some Pitchfork buzz and then pulled their album from a small Montreal label to a heavily subsidized Toronto label. When they were in the Polaris short-list last year, I prayed against them because they are bad people for doing that.
The issue is not bands who get a FACTOR grant of $2500 to record a record (if that money is actually going to a recording), or $10,000 to help out with a European tour. The issue is that a small, networked group of “top tier” artists and labels have been using FACTOR like their own personal bank-account at the expense of exploring or funding a wider variety of Canadian music. The issue is that the FACTOR board of directors is run by the very people who have bilked the fund for the most money.
One troubling response yesterday was that I should keep my mouth shut about critiquing FACTOR or else “HARPER” is going to come and close it down. That somehow my post was going to alert “CONSERVATIVE FORCES” to shut down this whole system. That is stupid, because you know that they would if they could and my poorly-edited TUMBLR blog isn’t going to have an effect on that.
Instead? Hide in fear that HARPER and his cronies are gonna come and ruin this system I love so much? I’m sorry, but FACTOR is already doing a good job of that itself.
Canadian bands and music lovers fear that if we criticize anything, we will be left out. That might be true, but it isn’t the end of the world.
If we say anything bad about FACTOR, they will have the last revenge and they won’t fund us. If we point out that EXCLAIM! is garbage, they won’t cover our album! If we point out how CBC Music developed the most unusable website on the entire internet, they might leave our song off the R3-30 or Grant Lawrence’s thrilling podcast! On and on.
Where does it end? Hopefully here.