Indie-rock musician Andrew Whiteman, best known for his job as a guitarist with Broken Social Scene and with his own duo AroarA (with wife Ariel Engle), is a poetry fiend. Recently, to help satisfy his dual passion for both the written word and music, he came up with the idea of "poetry records," which pair Canadian musicians with authors from the Toronto-based literary press BookThug. Seven-inch vinyl discs will be released by the new music label Chaos & Star. We asked Whiteman what else was occupying his time of late.
What he's tuned into: "Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast and CBC Radio's Ideas from Paul Kennedy. Radical, right under our noses. Revisionist History is structured like a murder mystery, with the whodunit moment never failing to reveal the very upside-down results of consequences we think we understand. Paul Kennedy oughta be commended for keeping his politics at the forefront of Ideas. The CBC stands for something, just by its mere existence, and he brings the best of that: independent inquiry and depth analysis of current cultural memes, every week."
What he's reading: "The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia by Samuel Johnson. I wish people spoke now like they did in the 18th century. We made abstract nouns into people."
What he recently enjoyed: "Toronto. I've lived in Montreal for almost eight years now. It is absolutely a playground for the young. Incredible fading daylight and, yes, much looser. But when I travel back to my hometown, which I do often, I get a few pangs. I miss Kensington Market; the poets from the bpNichol Lane Writers' Group; what's left of untouched Dundas Street West and my dear friends. I encourage Toronto to resist the urge to be 'world class.' Marshall McLuhan sends his love!"
Broken Social Scene plays the Air Canada Centre with Arcade Fire, Nov. 3 and 4.