Pick of the Day: The Zolas

The most famous Zola I know of is the 19th century French writer Emile Zola (pictured, in a portrait by Eduard Manet). As played by Paul Muni in a 1937 biopic I remember seeing years ago, he wrote a famous front-page article in 1898 headlined J'Accuse where he accused the French military and government of corruption and anti-Semitism for trying and convicting a French army officer named Alfred Dreyfus of espionage on trumped up charges. Zola was subsequently arrested, tried for libel, convicted, and only escaped imprisonment by fleeing to England.

I don't know the exact origin of this Vancouver-based prog-rock band's name, but I assume it has something to do with Emile Zola. Because the only other "zola" I can think of comes at the tail end of "Mazzola" and I doubt the band, which headlines a gig at the Club tonight, would have named themselves after that.

If that's true, and Emile Zola is the inspiration for their name, I give them props. It lends a literary air to the band without being too pretentious. Of course, if it's not backed up by quality songwriting it's all for naught.

Backing up the Zolas tonight are We Are the City. Here's video of the former performing "The Great Collapse" off their debut album Tic Toc Tic. (YouTube)

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