One of the things that I like about listening to Rheostatics live shows is that when they play a couple nights in a row, they play such different sets both nights. In the two nights at Vertigo, they played 44 songs and only 5 of them were duplicated (all from the newest album and a song that was on the live album). That is a fan pleasing band.
It’s hard to even say which night is better. Night 2 had more deep cuts and yet, they’re not exactly rare tracks for them to play either.
Lucky’s notes for this one say that the band were given cell phone type gadgets and that Martin played with his throughout the show. You can hear that as the set opens and Martin is goofing off with his.
Overall for these shows I found that the band was playing a lot of songs in a bit more mellow vibe. It’s not the way I like to hear them, but I wonder what it was like live. However, “King of the Past” one of my favorite songs was played too slow on this night, as was “Christopher.” And “Northern Wish” sounded quite different–it had an almost meandering quality to it. Even “Stolen Car” has a slow moody quality (which Martin agrees with).
But the band is clearly having fun. On “Four Little Songs there’s a crazy drum solo. And as it ends and “The Royal Albert” starts, there’s some odd guitar sounds which Martin describes as change falling in an elevator.
The stage banter is certainly fun tonight, especially the talk about Sean Brodie and ordering a pizza (which was terrible).
The final song is a great version of “Aliens.” But before that they play a cover of Reverend Ken and the Lost Followers’ “The Midnight Ride of Red Dog Ray ” which is all about a guy who drove to Quebec when there was a beer strike in Toronto.
Here’s the original
Although I love the song choices in this set, I feel like its slowness makes me prefer the previous night’s set a little more.
[READ: March 2, 2015] “Invisible and Insidious”
Vollmann is one of the more prolific writers I know (or at least his one collection of works is over 3,000 pages). I sort of have designs on reading his output but there’s so many other authors I like and Vollmann has so much out there that I think my best bet is to keep up with his writing when I see it and just let it go at that.
So he occasionally writes non-fiction for Harper’s. And they are usually pretty dark and unhappy pieces about the state of the world–Vollmann is not afraid to go to dark places. In this article he talks about living in Japan and he reminds us that not that long ago (March 2011) there was a tsunami and a huge nuclear meltdown in that country. And how most likely we all assume it must have been fixed, since we don’t hear about it anymore.
I don’t wish to overwhelm with details–that’s Vollmann’s job. But he does a few interesting things in Japan. He explores locations that are off limits (or at least in the evacuation zone) and he talks to people who live and work in these areas. He also (of course) has a dosimeter (which I assume must be pretty common in a radiated site).
The nuclear utility that monitors the plant, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) has issued various information over the years, although none of it seems verifiable. In August 2013, The Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority said the leak was re-categorized from level 1(anomaly) to level 3 (a serious accident). And the Japan Times says a the radioactivity was about 100 times more than what TEPCO had been allowing to enter the sea each year before the crisis. (more…)