This is one of the more unusual items on the Rheostatics Live site. It is an evening of pirate radio by a guy named Snooks.
This is the explanation directly from Snooks as to what this is:
In 2003 I had this hair-brained idea to run a radio station out of my bedroom. Two years previous, I attended Acadia University where I became the program manager of a thing called Radio Acadia nestled in the beautiful Nova Scotia Annapolis Valley, and was well aware of how to operate an online station. So, I set things up and ended up producing a show in my kitchen all about my favorite band, the Rheostatics. I had done numerous shows on them before, and I think I did a pretty good job with this one. I advertised the show on the Rheostatics yahoo list, but ended up with just one listener in Ontario I think.
Sadly, due to my rather busy work schedule, plans to take over the world with a pirate radio station that would change every music listener, and crush every commercial radio station into oblivion, had to be scrapped. Enjoy.
So this is 2 hours of Rheostatics music with some introductions by Snooks. Snooks provides general information about the band, some chronology and band member lists. But I think the best part is when he talks about meeting some of the guys and some personal anecdotes (especially about Tim Vesely).
I like the way he groups the songs thematically: History (songs from their early days and about the record industry), Acoustic Times (their more mellow numbers), Tim and I (songs by Tim), Bruce Willis and the Rheostatics (a great title if ever there was), Art (their more outlandish songs) and Reflective (their more reflective songs). I am surprised that “Horses” didn’t make it, though.
There’s nothing new here–it’s all songs from the albums (including Double Live)–but it’s fun to hear them played in this order.
[READ: March 25, 2015] “All You Have to Do”
It’s 1972 and Sid Baumwell, aged sixteen, is looking for more from his small town. He was handsome and had a lot of potential (his teachers said so). He genuinely believed he could be president.
One day at the grocery store he saw a card table offering a contest. The man at the table asked him if he felt like a winner and Sid said yes. The contest was for a lifetime supply of aluminum foil. And the man at the table, Bill Baxter, said that Sid looked like winner. Bill smiled at him. He gave him some sound if clichéd advice about school and made a slightly suggestive sexual joke. And then Sid left.
On the way home, Bill pulled up next to him in his car and offered him a ride home. Sid said sure. They started talking about cars. Bill laughed about his own car and after a few comments, Bill said that if Sid played his cards right the car could be his. Sid is confused and Bill doesn’t really clarify.
As Bill drops him off, he suggests that Sid will want to get out of this town. When Sid says it’s a nice town, Bill snidely remarks that nice is the kiss of death. Sid if offended, but it makes him think about his town.
The next night it turns out that Sid has won the aluminum foil. His parents are delighted and they make a big deal of getting the garage ready for a lifetime supply. The lifetime supply proves to be somewhat disappointing which makes Sid pretty angry. And angry with Bill in particular. Since Bill doesn’t have anything more to do with Sid, the anger festers.
But a few weeks later when Bill drives up next to Sid, Sid feels a kind of relief. They go for a drive and Sid says that Bill picked his ticket on purpose. Bill denies this but then says he’s thinking of giving away all of is things. He’s thinking of giving some of them to Sid. He even suggests that someday Sid may find this car in his driveway.
There’s an undercurrent in this story that I don’t quite get. I assumed it was a sexual thing, but I don’t think so. There’s certainly a predatory vibe and I can’t exactly figure out where Braunstein is going with this. As a result, I’m a little bummed by the story, which I mostly liked. I want there to be a bit more.