Poli Savvy: Turning WW3 and Franz Ferdinand into hashtags

On Jan. 3, the Twittersphere woke up with the hashtags #WW3 and #FranzFerdinand exploding all over social media.

This came right after Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was killed by American drones in Iraq. Memes were then shared and next thing you know, people were joking about being drafted for an imminent World War Three.

But why exactly are the death of Soleimani and WW3 trending together even more than, let’s say, the twisted relationship between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear threats?

Soleimani was a highly-known Iranian figure all over the Middle East, described in a statement by Trump after his death as “the number-one terrorist anywhere in the world.” Now, parallels are being drawn between him and Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which the younger generation usually knows as a rock band from the 2000s, but who was actually another famous General, killed more than 100 years ago in Bosnia.

As the heir of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ferdinand’s assassination is associated with the beginning of WWI. In comparison, Soleimani was considered as the next most powerful individual next to the widely popular President of Iran. With obvious similarities, the killing of Soleimani is seen as the boiling point to ongoing tensions between the US and Iran.

While the nonexistence of social media back in 1914 didn’t allow for these types of reactions, a hypothetical WW3 is currently turning into a joke. Knowing how devastating both World Wars were, aren’t these memes and tweets leaving you with a sour taste?

Yet, humour has always been a coping mechanism. So, in the meantime, I suggest revisiting the Scottish band’s 2004 song “Take Me Out” and scrolling down the comments for a good laugh.

As if you’re listening right before WW3 starts. 


Graphic by Victoria Blair


Quickspins – The Dodos, Franz Ferdinand, NIN, Bastille

The Dodos- Carrier (Dine Alone Records; 2013)

Carrier is The Dodo’s fifth studio album, and the band’s first since 2011. The California-based duo have traded their warm acoustic melodies for heavier melancholic electric guitar infused riffs. Although The Dodos have steered away from their signature sound, the change is not unprecedented; the band experimented with their sound on their 2009 release Time to Die. The first single “Confidence” starts off as a tame track but quickly evolves into a heavy hitter.

On Carrier, the duo created a tracklist of eerily beautiful songs prompted by the untimely death of their former touring guitarist, Christopher Reimer. Reimer transformed the duo into a trio for a brief period in 2011.The first track “Transformer” sets up the rest of the album with its honest lyrics and sorrowful sound. A powerful melancholy can be heard in “Relief” and all throughout Carrier. The album was released on Aug.27.

Trial Track: “Confidence”

Rating: 7/10

-Jessica Romera

Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (Domino Records; 2013)

Four years later and Franz Ferdinand is back in action. It seems that after their last album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, received mixed reviews, the lads from Glasgow needed to take some time to reflect on the future of the band. Luckily for us, they decided to recharge and return to the scene with 10 brand-spanking new tracks.

Although their infectious first single “Right Action” sounds like it was plucked from their debut self-titled album, the Scottish alt-rockers prove their musical hiatus has allowed them time to evolve as musicians and lyricists. “Fresh Strawberries” showcases the band’s existential fears and struggles, juxtaposed by a light, sweet, sound with subtle disco vibes. The entire album has the signature guitar-fueled sound fans have come to love but with a fresh and funky feel that does not disappoint. The album dropped Aug.27.

Trial Track:”Evil Eye”

Rating: 9/10

-Jessica Romera


Bastille – Bad Blood (Virgin; 2013)

Relying heavily on upbeat tempos and a sprinkling of falsetto kicks, Bastille creates an album that’s both incredibly original and versatile. Instant hit “Pompeii” amassed tens of millions of views since its release in February, and it’s no wonder this U.K. collective has catapulted right into the music industry spotlight. Bastille manages to avoid limiting itself to songs riddled with repetitive tempos and instead unifies the tracks with a consistent aura of pure optimism. Bad Blood, set to release Sept. 3, comes across first and foremost as a feel-good album, displayed clearly in the track “Flaws,” a sunshiny tune bursting at the seams with smile-inducing catchiness and raw motivation.

While the album isn’t likely to fit your every mood or pull at your heartstrings, one thing’s for sure, Bad Blood guarantees some pretty good vibes.

Trial Track: “Flaws”

Rating: 8.5/10

-Victoria Kendrick

Nine Inch Nails- Hesitation Marks (Columbia Records; 2013)

Hesitation Marks is Nine Inch Nails’ first release since the band went on a hiatus in 2008. The band has always catered to its own specific niche market and this album is no different. The first single, “Came Back Haunted,” has the potential to be quite interesting, but with the chorus providing the only intriguing aspect, the song ends up being simply lackluster.

The album contains the usual angst-filled, industrial rock sound that has become synonymous with the band. However, this time around, the band has opted for a slightly more experimental direction with songs like “Copy of A”. One of the album’s most understated numbers, it is a song that grows on you and is definitely worth more than a couple of listens. The album comes out on Sept. 3.

Trial Track: “Everything”

Rating: 7/10

-Selina Gard



Osheaga bigger and better than ever

Fans by the tens of thousands tough out the heat for a day full of music by their favourite artists. Photo by writers.

Like most music festivals, this year’s Osheaga passed by in a flurry of stellar performances, overpriced food, crowded washrooms (crowded everything, really) and free merchandise.

However, this year’s line-up was bigger and better than ever, proven by the almost unreal number of tickets sold. Friday, Aug. 3 was the first day in the history of the festival to be completely sold-out (this was announced a matter of hours after yours truly purchased her own tickets, praise be!) Approximately 120,000 tickets were sold and by the end of the day both the Friday and Sunday performances were completely sold-out.

A blend of household names and up-and-coming Canadian talent, Osheaga sported something for everyone. Headliners for Friday included Justice, Florence and the Machine, Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros, MGMT and more. While Florence offered a magical, almost unearthly performance, MGMT brought their music video for “Electric Feel” to life, distributing glow-sticks and psychedelic vibes to all. Sigur Ros, the genre-defying Icelandic band, put on a characteristically unusual and ethereal show and Justice, the last show of the day on the main stages, was an electronic party, with screens flashing brightly on the stage and the La Ronde fireworks exploding into showers of colour over the nearby amusement park.

But the performance that delivered the most surprises was the second Icelandic group on the program (likely a first for the festival), Of Monsters and Men. They were not quite as big a headliner as the above four bands, as evidenced by the fact that they played before sunset and on one of the secondary stages, but they drew an enormous audience (even the band members expressed surprise at the number of people), which was itself enormously enthusiastic, singing along and filling every gap of quiet with cheers and applause. And, despite the rather intense heat in the tightly packed and shadeless standing area, the show was fantastic – I would venture to say that Of Monsters and Men might be better live – and worth the full-body-sweating experience.

Unfortunately, due to the overlapping performances, we could not catch all of the artists who played during our stay, but some of the lesser-known artists that we enjoyed and deserve mention were Yukon Blonde, a Canadian indie-rock band and luxuriant hair collective, who played a really fun show and shared some banter between the lead singer and guitarist onstage. Another was Charli XCX, with a drum set and keyboard decked with flowers and Charli herself in an outfit so outrageous that you (or, at least, I) immediately wanted to be her best friend.

A thorough review of the festival would not be complete without mentioning the impact the sheer number of people had on the experience. In all honesty, it really did take a ridiculous amount of time to get from one stage to another, thanks to the combination of a large crowd and a small staircase. More than one story of people passing out while waiting in line for food and water circulated amongst concert-goers.

Yet, many would argue that this is all part of what makes a festival, well, a festival. The constantly-having-your-toes-stepped-on closeness of bodies and hours spent waiting to buy four dollar water bottles, punctuated by performances by a varied and impressive array of artists, give the experience that certain je ne sais quoi that makes us all proud to say we were there.


Mixtape: Osheaga 2012 – Festival preview

If you’ve never been to Osheaga, you don’t know what you’re missing. Heat, dehydration, screaming crowds, exhaustion and, most notably, a lineup of more than fifty amazing musicians playing at Jean-Drapeau Park for three long days. Despite the less-than-stellar conditions, Osheaga is the most anticipated summer event for any music-savvy Montrealer. This year between Aug. 3 to 5, twenty talented artists—along with many more—will flood our city and play for tens of thousands of people. With big names like Snoop Dogg, Feist, Florence and the Machine and Brand New, Osheaga is bound to be the best three days of your life. Festival passes are now on sale. Let this mixtape be your precursor to Montreal’s most anticipated summer weekend of 2012.

SIDE A: Homegrown, Canadiana

1. “Help, I’m Alive” – Metric – Fantasies
2. “My Moon My Man” – Feist – The Reminder
3. “Grind” – Down With Webster – Time to Win, Vol. 1
4. “We Found Each Other in the Dark” – City and Colour –  Little Hell
5. “A Song About California” – Hey Ocean! – It’s Easier to be Someone Else
6. “I Don’t Know” – The Sheepdogs – Learn & Burn
7. “Tom Cruz” – Plants and Animals – La La Land
8. “Cover Your Tracks” – Young Galaxy – Shapeshifting
9. “Journey of a Lifetime” – Zeds Dead – Single
10. “High for This” – The Weeknd – House of Balloons

SIDE B: Come from afar

11. “Mind Eraser” – The Black Keys – El Camino
12. “Drop it Like it’s Hot” – Snoop Dogg – R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece
13. “Howl” – Florence and the Machine – Lungs
14. “Kissing the Lipless” – The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow
15. “Electric Feel” – MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
16. “Helicopter” – Bloc Party – Little Thoughts (EP)
17. “Cough Syrup” – Young the Giant – Young the Giant
18. “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” – Brand New – Deja Entendu
19. “Jacqueline” – Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
20. “Only Happy When it Rains” – Garbage – Garbage

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