Bring Out the Gimp

Musings on pop culture by freelance journalist Shawn Conner

Archive for the tag “Vancouver bands”

Be Good Tanyas in Nicholson Baker’s ‘book of raunch’

House of Holes book cover

Vancouver’s Be Good Tanya’s make an appearance in Nicholson Baker’s 2011 ‘Book of Raunch’.

Well now this is weird. I was reading Nicholson Baker‘s 2011 novel House of Holes, subtitled “a book of raunch”, when I came across a reference to Vancouver’s very own darlings of trill, the Be Good Tanyas.

In this passage, about midway through the book, a guy named Wade wakes up in a hotel room in the House of Holes (which is either an actual house or the name of a sex amusement park, or maybe just a state of mind – I’m not entirely sure) and orders up a woman from room service.

So far so good, right? Up comes Koizumi, who describes herself as “a sculptor” and also “a collector of wet-dream memories.” Pretty soon, Wade is feeling her up:

Wade felt her breasts.
“I’m sorry they are quite small,” Koizumi said.
“Nonsense, they’re exquisite, and you know what the Be Good Tanyas say. ‘The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs.’ You know the Be Good Tanyas, right?”
“Yes they’re Canadian. I’m Canadian Japanese. I believe in supporting Canadian singers.”

Did you catch that? Is that not a weird and obscure reference? The thing is, the reference sticks out especially because up until that moment in the book music has barely been mentioned, if at all, never mind the name of a specific (and real world!) band.

On another note (pardon the pun), the reference took me right out of the story—which until then was a pleasant and porn-y fantasy, almost completely devoid of any real-world references. So aesthetically, I’m not sure if it’s a reference that entirely works.

Still, it was pretty fun to come across a Vancouver band in House of Holes, of all places.

Music video – Be Good Tanyas, “Littlest Birds”:

Said the Whale at the El Mocambo, Toronto, March 28

Said the Whale at Lee's Palace, Toronto, March 28 2010. Amber Anne Dawkins concert photo for

Said the Whale at the El Mocambo, Toronto, March 28 2010. Amber Anne Dawkins photo

– photos by Amber Anne Dawkins (Said the Whale concert photo gallery)

Now, Said The Whale
when they stop in Winnipeg
i go and I Dance!

i’m usually the first one moving it
and alone for 3,4,5 songs
but at The El
and yes, yesterday at Lee’s
i wasn’t
didn’t have that burden

music lovers
Thank You
you dance!

15 songs in 50 minutes
give or take a few minutes

This City’s A Mess
The Light Is You
My Government Heart
New Brighton (brand new)
False Creek Change
Curse of the Currents

peter carruthers, bass
spencer schoening
jacelyn brown, keys
ben worcester and tyler bancroft
vocals and guitars

jacelyn’s stunning new
red dress was topic for
between song chat
oh my! and those red shoes
that the angels wanna wear
(elvis costello)

read more of Eugene Osudar’s Said the Whale at the El Mocambo review

Said the Whale at the El Mocambo, March 28 2010.

Said the Whale at the El Mocambo, March 28 2010. Amber Anne Dawkins photo

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