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The Government

The Government - Hemingway (Hated Disco Music) / I Only Drive My Car at Night - 7

Hemingway (Hated Disco Music) / I Only Drive My Car at Night - 7"
(independent) - 1979

Michael Panontin
The year 1979 was a productive one for Toronto's top post-punk act. The Government catapulted Canada out of punk and into the quirkier, experimental world of post-punk, releasing this single, the follow-up 33 1/3 EP, and the full-length Electric Eye.With artist Andrew Paterson at the helm, the band often performed with video accompaniment at spaces like the relatively new Music Gallery, and the acerbic b-side here makes their point well, opening with some found video vitriolic ("You don't wanna come? All right, you wanna be a suck. Be a suck!") before morphing into more standard guitar fare. Meanwhile, the garagey 'Hemingway (Hated Disco Music)' gave Canadians their first whiff of Paterson's deadpan delivery and scathing social satire, here skewering the disco scene - or perhaps even the disco-hating knuckleheads of the day ("Disco music is for boys with limp wrists / I'm only interested in men with two fists"). Neither song captures the eerie intensity that would follow, especially after the band reached for the synthesizers on the brilliant 'Zippers of Fire'. Still, the flame had been lit, with the edgier sounds of Fifth Column, Kinetic Ideals, and Rent Boys Inc. just around the corner.

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