SOUNDTRACK: MARTIN TIELLI-Hugh’s Room Toronto, ON (September 27, 2009).
This is the final solo show from Martin Tielli on the Rheostaticslive site. And it’s a great final show. The sound quality is excellent and the crowd is also really into it.
Martin says that it is the fourth show ever with this band which includes Martin Tielli – vocals, guitar
Selina Martin – acoustic guitar, vocals, bowed saw
Monica Guenter – piano, synth, viola, vocals
Greg Smith – bass, vocals
Ryan Granville-Martin – drums, vocals, glockenspiel
(That’s a lot of Martins).
They open with a Rheostatics song, “Dead is the Drunkest You Can get,” a mellow song that works really well and has outstanding backing vocals from Selina and Monica. Then they play two Nick Buzz songs, “That’s What You Get for Having Fun” and “Love Streams.”
“Something Wild” introduces a lot of vocoder–his vocals sound very different from on the Danny Gross record. “Underbrush” is very slow and dramatic.
There’s something about this band that really brings out the best of these songs. “Voices from the Wilderness” is lovely and “I’ll Never Tear You Apart” is also lovely, done in a slower tempo. Although Martin keeps correcting himself when he messes up the words.
When they get to “Hymn to the Situation” (an old Nick Buzz song) he says it was an audience request and he thought it was funny. He asks that the audience cheer wildly when he says the word “axe” (which is what happens on the record). His description of the song is very funny, saying that it is about love. Not sex, which is disgusting and which is all you hear in the media. He concludes, “Never confuse the savory and the sweet.” The song is played entirely on the piano.
“Saskatchewan” is great. Big and loud. Although Martin plays some amazingly bad chords at the end of the song–presumably intentionally. The guitar solo is played on a violin, which is also pretty neat.
The set list says that the song “Our Keepers” was supposed to be next, but it is not included. Indeed, the set ends with “Saskatchewan” making this show only 55 minutes. Nevertheless, it’s a great recording and a wonderful spanning of Martin’s solo career.
[READ: October 10, 2015] The Importance of Manners
I found this book at work and was intrigued by the blurb: a Dali-esque fable, and that it was “in the vein of Evelyn Waugh and PG Wodehouse.” I was committed to the book when I saw that the print was huge and that the chapters were really short. Not the best recommendation for reading a book, but if you’re looking for quick read, those are some good markers.
The story is a travelogue farce that involves religion, sex, more religion, death and the end of the world.
There are several main characters, although I suppose the main protagonist is Burt Darwin. Darwin is concerned for his afterlife and he cycles through a different religion multiple times during the day to make sure he has all of his bases covered. He also keeps a journal in which he must tell the truth because this will lead to a successful afterlife (according to some healer or another).
We next meet Lady Chanel Malory. Chanel was a hand model, is quite pretty and is looking for adventure (sexual if possible). But she is married to Lord Percy, an old stuck up aristocrat who says all the things you’d expect someone like him to say. He also believes that Lady Chanel is French and she is happy to play up the charade of being French for most of the story (it cracks briefly). The final main character is Sister Mary. She is an exiled nun, but she dresses like Mother Theresa, blesses everything and everyone and considers everything including flossing to be blasphemous.
They are all on a cruise ship traveling to Africa (you can probably see already the kinds of jokes and scenes that are going to appear). They meet angry Kings (one who calls Lord Percy “Hitler”), they meet a talking (at least to us) snake who is mad to be stepped on, we encounter Vodun gods (and sellers of Authentic African knickknacks (most likely made in China) and a spell that makes Sister Mary forget that she is a nun and remember the past that brought her there.
There’s even a couple of authorial interruptions.
While most of the book is made of comic episodes (and some are indeed very funny) there are also some intriguing subplots. Like Lady Chanel’s connection to pirates (which is sadly never explored fully), there’s even the exorcism of a demon.
Oh, and there’s someone who is about to set off a nuclear bomb destined to blow up the whole word. Although none of our cast know that, somehow one of them saves the entire world.
H.G. Watt is also known as Hande Zapsu Watt. She was born in Istanbul but now lives in Scotland. According to some information, she has published four more novels and four children’s books which have all been translated into several languages, but I can’t find any of them.
So this book was a little broad, with some fairly easy targets, and yet I enjoyed it quite a bit. There was a lot that made me laugh including the acknowledgments in which she thanks her editor “who edited all the way to page 42 before writing in the margin: “umm, isn’t this a bit racist?” [The book is, but it attacks everyone mercilessly, so no one need feel singled out].