SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-Melville (1991).
This fantastic Rheostatics album was one of the last ones I bought for some reason. It came after their debut, Greatest Hits, and is quite a departure for that more simplistic disc.
It opens with the two minute “Record Body Count,” which sets the tone for the disc. It’s quirky, with different pacings and loud/soft parts, and is quite affecting. In fact, the entire rest of the disc is quirky and off beat, as befits a disc with a big whale on the cover.
Three great tracks on this disc are “Saskatchewan,” “Horses” and “Aliens (Christmas 1988).” And the CD comes with a bonus track of their cover of “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” which is rocking and swaying as a good nautical track should.
The CD ends with “You Are Very Star” a track that ended their live shows. On the disc, the track is a series of hockey announcements with quiet whistles as the song fades away,
Rheostatics are definitely an unusual band. Martin Tielli’s voice goes into high registers at unexpected times, he also sing-speaks (and you can hear the Canadian accent) at times. Tim Vesely and Dave Bidini also have vocal duties, and their more mellow style adds for a nice contrast. But basically, what you get is unpredictable rock. And really, there’s nothing better than that. Especially when, once you get comfortable with the songs, you realize just how catchy they are.
Melville, it’s in Saskatchewan, and it rocks.
[READ: December 21, 2009] Salt Water Taffy: The Legend of Old Salty
This is a delightful all ages comic set on the coast of Maine. As the story opens we see brothers Jack and Benny (I did wonder if there is some connection to Jack Benny, but I’d have to say no) driving to their summer house in Maine. Benny is younger and having fun playing the license plate game while Jack is absorbed in his gameboy.
When they arrive, the kids run around the house investigating this and that (I loved the drawings of the kids stomping around), only to discover that there’s no TV! Their dad is a writer and wants solitude, so they are shut off from all fun! That is, until they meet Angus, an old sea dog who tells them the Legend of Old Salty, a gigantic lobster with whom Angus himself has had a very nasty encounter.
The rest of the story concerns Benny & Jack helping Angus track down Old Salty (and, of course, salt water taffy). There is some absurd humor (wait till you see the seagulls) and anthropomorphic lobsters. The art is fun: thick lines, very cartoony and exaggerated accentuating its frenetic pace. The story is appropriate for kids of all ages, and is very entertaining.
There are at least two more Salt Water Taffy stories currently in print. And I’m looking forward to them both.