KEXP broadcast this concert from the Triple Door in Seattle (they have a free feed of all of these great concerts from the Triple Door). Stars are a great Montreal alternapop band. They sing songs that are kind of downbeat and sad lyrically and yet gorgeous and poppy musically.
This show takes place on the day that their 2010 release, The Five Ghosts, came out. I really like Stars although I wasn’t that excited by this disc, so I never picked it up. And yet most of this set is from this album and I think the set is great, so maybe it’s time to pick up the album after all.
Torquil and Amy sing beautiful harmonies (and Amy’s voice is gorgeous on th e song she sings solo).
What’s a little confusing about this set is that they play 7 songs. So it’s a short set. And yet the Triple Door is a rock club and they say they’re playing later on that night as well. So, maybe this is a n album release party? Or a KEXP show? Whatever, it’s still a good set.
The band has a relaxed and chatty attitude onstage, with Torquil claiming that the DJs at KEXP having “Serious taste” for playing their music. The two singers have a disagreement about which song they’re going to play (Oh, it isn’t called “Fixed”?). And there’s a funny moment when Amy says she was thinking about George Jones and his career being over and Torquil saying “Does anyone know what Amy is talking about”). And Torquil, who has the gentlest voice (and is the most polite front man ever) curses during the last segment and then says, “I just swore on public radio. That’s okay, Republicans don’t listen to it anyway they’re too but filling their hearts with hatred.”
[READ: October 8, 2009] “A Speaking Engagement”
This story was fascinating to me because it was about a Canadian military lieutenant on leave. I can’t think of too many stories about the Canadian military (I’m sure there are many, I’ve just haven’t encountered them).
Paulie is home for six weeks on leave. As part of his time home he gives speaking engagements to high schools and (on this date) to a senior center. He has a slide show in which he shows the audience what they were doing in overseas–in this case helping the citizens with infrastructure. He says the high school students and seniors react mostly the same way (respectfully) and ask a lot of the same questions, although the seniors never ask if he killed anyone.
On his way to the senior center (in full uniform) he runs into Amy, a girl from his high school class. He always felt she was out of his league, but she seem genuinely excited to see him. They chat briefly in the convenience store and make plans for later.
They have dinner later that week and catch up. Amy tells what she’s been up to since school–not going to med school, having a baby by herself (with her mom’s help), starting her own care business and generally running around like crazy. Paul talks a little about the army experience, but defers what he actually did there for “another date.”
That other date doesn’t come though because they go back to Amy’s house (her daughter is at her mother’s) for a nightcap. Which leads to Paul staying the night.
He wakes up in the middle of the night, a little hazy and hungover and he reflects back on his time in the war. And here’s where the story takes a twist. It turns out that Paul, while a decorated officer and a proud speaker for the military, really didn’t do very much in the war. He sat behind a desk for most of his tour. What I liked about this section was the amount of detail that Lennox included-it wasn’t just general malaise about being there it was information about the specifics.
It all culminates with Paul reflecting on the question that a lady at the senior center asked him: what was your proudest moment. Paul gave her an answer but in the middle of the night he admits that he lied. His real answer is very different indeed.
I’m curious what is in store for Paul and Amy (that’s not really addressed at the end). But the impact of Paul’s story was quite powerful.