Fucked Up to Use Polaris Prize Money to Record "Do They Know It's Christmas?" with Broken Social Scene, Vampire Weekend, No Age, GZA
Published Nov 06, 2009In keeping with their name, Canadian hardcore outfit Fucked Up are doing something rather unusual. They've planned to re-record 1984 holiday classic "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and they're doing it will the help of a pretty stellar all-star cast.
For the uninitiated, the song was produced by Good Samaritan/musicians Bob Geldof and Midge Ure with the likes of Us, Phil Collins, Duran Duran, Sting and, um, Bananarama participating in an effort to raise awareness for/provide relief to Ethiopian sufferers.
In a similar vein, vocalist Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham related to New York Magazine's Vulture Blog that by utilizing the funds earned from their Polaris Music Prize victory earlier this year, the crew will bring in current underground heroes to redo the tune.
"David Cross, members of Vampire Weekend, TV on the Radio, Broken Social Scene, the GZA, Bob Mould, No Age, and Yo La Tengo are all confirmed," Abraham said. "I'm still waiting on confirmation from Feist, Jarvis Cocker, and M.I.A. We wanted the biggest people we could get. If we could get a Jonas Brother on this, I would get a Jonas Brother."
Unlike the original though, Fucked Up plan to have this version benefit other groups. Abraham mentioned that proceeds will go to "a few different organizations, like Justice for the Missing, affiliated with the 500 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. That number is an old official statistic that the government uses, but the number is most likely closer to 3,000. It's not like cancer or AIDS. Those are worthy causes but they have big fund-raising machines. This is an undocumented, underreported crime that's been going on for years. And while this is for Canadian organizations, the same sort of thing is going on at the U.S./Mexico border, with Mexican women going missing, and in Australia, with aboriginal women there."
In regards to why the band are using such an unusual cast of voices - not to mention the song - he said, "I liked the idea of somewhat marginalized indie rockers coming together for a marginalized cause... There's a kind of cavalier colonialism to the original, like the West has to go in and help this poor Third World country. But the charities that we're trying to help are exactly a product of this colonial history. People who have been subjugated and oppressed for so many years are going missing. So there's an irony to using the song."