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 Everett True

Song of the day – 303: Nova Scotia

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There’s Feathers, and they’re great. And there’s Nova Scotia, and they’re pretty good too.

It’s Brisbane, and it’s 2011. It’s New York City, and it’s 1991. Twenty years difference. I used to write songs about far less. I associate these two bands – a brother band, a sister band, awkward Pavement and Sonic Youth fans all – because 1) their music seems rooted to a time and place far removed from the reality I find myself immersed within (I’m not saying my reality is, or should be, theirs), a music that I once attained a small degree of notoriety for championing, and 2) the first time I heard either, I was playing on the same bill. So be it. I’m fond of this music, done well (i.e. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DUPLICATE THE SOUND). It would be ridiculous to claim otherwise. It’s just that I’ve … um… heard quite a lot of it. I know. These musicians were barely alive when I was being barricaded into bathrooms by junkie models looking to get laid. So their perspective is way different. Doesn’t mean that mine should be altered to tally with theirs. That would be crazy talk.

So, whatever. Nova Scotia have an album out. This, being Brisbane, means I should declare a prior interest. Lofly, their record label, asked Edward Guglielmino to help publicise the record. He got someone to drive him all the way out to The Gap, just so he could drop off a heavy duty 12-inch vinyl version of the album.

“If you don’t like it Jerry, give it back to me so we can sell it again,” he instructed. “You might like the final song, ‘The World Is Not Enough’.”

Well, fuck you Ed. You’re not having this back. I DO like the final song ‘The World Is Not Enough’. It’s like the most outrageous but still ridiculously fun Pavement tribute I’ve heard since the glory (hem) days of Sammy. I’ve listened to it five times now, and defy even new QLD resident Spiral Stairs to tell the two bands apart. Once, I used to get angry at such blatant plagiarism. Now, I find it sweet and endearing. Weird, huh?

Would I be enjoying this so much if Nova Scotia weren’t local? They are local, so the question doesn’t arise.

You can have a listen to the song at their MySpace here.

5 Responses to Song of the day – 303: Nova Scotia

  1. Darragh March 16, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Yeah, I really dig this band as well. Ed’s marketing trick is going to work because I’m about to buy the record.

  2. Cam March 16, 2011 at 10:15 am

    i think that the pavement thing gets overstated. sure, they do sound a lot like pavement at times (the ‘rap’ in snakes and ladders is a total nastanovich rip). they also sound equally like built to spill at times. they also sound equally like polvo at times. they also sound equally like weezer at times. then there’s also a more straight up punk thing in nova scotia’s sound that those bands don’t tend to have (courtesy two of the band members playing in bands like eat lazer scumbag and sweet dreams).

    when you combine the sounds of all of those different bands you get nova scotia. it’s not an innovative sound, but when everyone reduces it down to ripping off one particular band (that is really just the most recognisable in a whole sub-genre) it seems over simplified.

  3. Everett True March 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I was talking about a specific song, Cam.

    I have no idea whether other critics have made the same comparison about Nova Scotia, never having read any other critics on Nova Scotia. It strikes me that the fault probably lies more with the band themselves than the critic, however: if, for example, Nova Scotia’s ‘The World Is Not Enough’ didn’t sound exactly – and I mean exactly – like Pavement it seems extremely unlikely any critic would be making the parallel. I cannot speak for their other songs. Doubtless they do not raise similar comparisons if they do not merit them.

    But, as I say: I find Nova Scotia’s Pavement imitation on ‘The World Is Not Enough’ endearing rather than annoying. The song is a romp, a solid sending blast, imaginative and energetic and fun to listen to, whomever it sounds like … and that’s most important of all. Right?

    P.S. I think you’re forgetting my familiarity with this particular genre. I did write a couple of bloody books on the era, after all! I lived through it. I was part of it. I was one of the prime catalytic agents, for a while. And Pavement are by no means the first band I think of.

  4. Cam March 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    ET, i don’t think anyone with even the most passing familiarity with your work could ever forget that.

  5. Everett True March 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    ET, i don’t think anyone with even the most passing familiarity with your work could ever forget that.


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