After returning from the conference at Brock, I never got around to writing out some of the comments and thoughts that my colleagues of IASPM imparted to me after the presentation of the paper (which was well-received). For one, Feist's perceived weakness (or actual weakness, if one takes into account her vocal injury) is a choice. Perhaps she is able to sing loudly, but it is a stylistic choice of hers to sing softly. Something to think about: the relationship between the timbre of the bass (fuzzy vs. clear) and the timbre or clarity of the voice (this is what one listener latched onto when hearing "1234"). Finally, the work of ethnomusicologist Kyra Gaunt might be something to think about, in terms of songs that sound like games (although Gaunt's work, I think, explores games with songs, rather than the case of Feist - songs without games). See Gaunt, The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop (New York: NYU Press, 2006).
In case you might be wondering, right now I'm "reading" the following:
Wilbert J. McKeachie & Marilla Svinicki, McKeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, 12th Edition (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006).
Parker J. Palmer, To Know as We are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journal (New York: HarperOne, 1993).
Sheila Whiteley & Jennifer Rycenga, eds., Queering the Popular Pitch (New York: Routledge, 2006). [I've got to write a review of this one for a journal.]
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (in the public domain in Canada, downloaded from here).
Dan Brown, Deception Point (New York: Pocket Books, 2001).
By the way, we say goodbye to Montreal this coming Friday, June 13. Au Revoir, city of my birth.