Nov 29, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Carl Wilson on Celine Dion

"For a century or more, sentimentality has been the cardinal aesthetic sin. To say that a work is sentimental is perforce to damn it. To be sentimental is to be phony, manipulative... Double standards arise everywhere for sentimental music: excessive, formulaic, two-dimensional can all be positives for music that is not gentle and conciliatory, but infuriated and rebellious. You could say punk rock is anger’s schmaltz. Punk, metal, even social-justice rock like U2 or Rage Against the Machine, with their emphatic slogans or individuality and independence, are as much “inspirational” as CĂ©line’s music is, but for different subcultural groups. “Subversion,” today, is sentimentality’s inverse: It is nearly always a term of critical approval." — Carl Wilson, Let's Talk About Love
Even thought it was was published in 2007, Wilson's book is my favorite music book of the year, edging out even the Keith Richards — the best since Nick Hornby's Songbook, and definitely the best I could have imagined being written about Celine Dion.


  1. Happy Monday Tom!

    Sarah Palin clarifies her position on Korea, telling SPN Headlines, "Did you know that Korea leads the world in people named Kim? And most of them are men! WTF!"

    REVEALING story at:

    Peace! :-)

  2. Celine Dion's music gives the Siren the sort of pleasure she'd ordinarily associate with barbed-wire bra straps. But the Siren also spent some 2000 words this summer on an impassioned defense of "Wee Willie Winkie," and Shirley Temple in it. And that's not even counting the sidebar. So to Mr. Wilson's thoughts on sentimentality, all the Siren has to say is "Come right on over and sit by me, darlin'."

  3. You'd like Wilson's book, I think. Chapter one: he hates Dion. Final chapter: he's writing about her with the fluency, and even affection, of a true fan. And he doesn't cheat in between by means of camp or irony. he simply moves, degree by degree, from hate to semi-like. It's quite something.