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Archive for the ‘Jill Sexsmith’ Category

2015-05SOUNDTRACKRHEOSTATICS-Ted’s Wrecking Yard Toronto, ON (May 30, 2001).

twyFor this final show with Don Kerr, the band played for what seems like ever.  Darrin says he edited out any quiet bits so the show could fit on two discs, which it does.  And even at that it’s still about 2 and a half hours long.

Only five songs are repeated from the previous night (and they are all from the new album, except “Stolen Car,” which Martin sings on this night) and “Take Me in Your Hand” which is pretty awesome.  There’s also no Kevin on this night, so the set is full of a few of the more rocking songs (as opposed to the Harmelodia stuff).

 After a rocking “Fat” they play two rarely played songs “Remain Calm” and “The Idiot.”  But the set list is just a perfect collection of the songs that I love most: “Aliens,” “King of the Past,” “Saskatchewan,” “California Dreamline,” “Fan Letter to Michael Jackson” and “Horses.”  Wow.

Some notes: “There’s an awkward introduction to “The Idiot” which they hadn’t played in a long time.  The “Aliens”/”King of the Past ” pair is great.  I also loved the way they run right into “Mumbletypeg” while Martin is still feed backing the previous song.  “Horses” has an angry chant from Dave (the “facts” chant) and you can really hear DB wailing on the acoustic guitar at the end of “Stolen Car.”

Don gives a nice thanks (he says he’s about to cry) and they open “Take Me in Your Hand” with a jaunty “Ob La Di” riff and lyrics about Don.

There’s a lot of banter, including an Ed the Sock joke (“Don Kerr fired by Ed the Sock.”)  It’s a wonderful ending to a wonderfully time with Don Kerr.  Incidentally, Ted’s closed in 2001 as well, and the band, who played many multinight sets there moved their Green Sprouts Week to The Horsehoe.

This is a great show, and the sound is outstanding.  And since Don is leaving to play with Ron Sexsmith, here’s a story by Jill Sexsmith (presumably unrelated).

[READ: April 25, 2015] “Airplanes Couldn’t Be Happier in Turbulence”

I enjoyed the way this story began with some very down to earth information and then ends in a preposterous and yet still strangely believable situation.  It’s about exasperation and the need to do something, anything, when everything feels out of control.

Madison (it’s hard to believe that there are grown women with that name) has wanted to scale the Empire State Building ever since she watched King Kong as a kid.  Her husband, Frank, is a grounded individual, an actuary who is full of facts and statistics.  When she says she want to go there, he says “There’s a 0.28 percent chance of getting pistol whipped” in New York City.  He also quips, I suppose you want a  pony, too.  She jokes that she does, although she is afraid of horses–especially ponies, the “kneecap biting form of the horse” (I can attest to this, having been bitten on the kneecap by my neighbors supposedly nice pony).

Madison has never taken a vacation from her job.  She is anxious at the thought of empty days in front of her.  Her boss and coworkers keep trying to get her to go.  This year for her birthday she and Frank are going to New York City.  Her boss throws a going away party even though two of the four days are on the weekend. (more…)

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walrusjulySOUNDTRACK: POKEY LAFARGE-Live on Mountain Stage (2012).

pokey2I really only know Pokey LaFarge from NPR (they’ve embraced them, but I haven’t heard them anywhere else).  Pokey and his band plays a mix of early string-band music, ragtime, country blues and Western swing, in a completely un-ironic way (they dress the part as well).  Like Squirrel Nut Zippers, but even more so.

Interestingly, I know the first song “La La Blues” from a previous performance (on a Tiny Desk Concert) and I actually liked that version better than this one.  This entire performance feels a little too loose.  Which is weird because the music is designed to be loose, but in the previous performances there was a little more structure which made the songs jump out a little more (or maybe the recording just isn’t loud enough).

There’s 5 songs in total: 4 originals include “Central Time,” “Drinkin’ Whiskey Tonight,” and “Won’tcha Please Don’t Do It.”  And a Jimmie Rogers song called “Peach Pickin’ Time in Georgia.”  This final song feels more authentically of the time than LaFarge’s originals but only barely, just barely (perhaps its the “gal pickin’ time” line).  And yet “Won’tch Please Don’t Do It” sounds just right too.

The best joke in the set is when Pokey says they have 78 RPM records for sale (they really do).  But that they don’t have any that night because they are sold out!

LaFarge is an engaging live performer (even if the crowd seems subdued here).  And while I don’t see myself buying any of his records, I would like to see him live–it seems like a fun show.  Check it out here.

[READ: July 15, 2013] “Somewhere, a Long Happy Life Probably Awaits You”

The prefatory paragraph that precedes up this story seems so light-hearted: “Manfred met Elizabeth when she interviewed for a position at his fortune cookie company.  She was a greeting card writer looking to branch out.”  That is an actual quote from the story, but in the story, it is a flashback after the main action of the story has begun.

When the story begins, Elizabeth is trying to protect a tree in her front yard.  It has gotten Dutch Elm disease and is to be cut down this summer.  She would like to know when, but she is only told between may and September.  While she is not going to go crazy protecting this tree, she would like some actual notification, so she can be there to say goodbye.

Going crazy, it turns out is an important thing to note, though.  Because Elizabeth from time to time goes on “safaris.”  These safaris can last an indeterminate amount of time, and in some cases may even require Manfred to track her down.  Like when she was protesting the war in front of a building (where no one else was) or, as in one case, when she was frolicking in a sprinkler in her underwear. (more…)

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