Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Poutine’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, ON (December 11 1996).

This is the final show on Rheostatics Live in which the band is opening for The Tragically Hip.

For this show, the intro music is also from The Wizard of Oz, but this time it’s Judy singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  It’s just one verse before fading out and then guitars fading in for Martin to play “A Mid Winter Night’s Dream.”

Turns out that this setlist is similar to the one from Buffalo with a lot of new songs.  Although there are a few older/more popular songs in places.

The new songs include “Fat” which sounds great of course.  I gather they are maybe sharing a microphone because at the end Dave says “See you in the next song, Martin.”  “Okay, Dave.”  This leads into a perfect version of “All the Same Eyes.”

Martin says “We are the Rheostatics.”  Dave says “We are the Rheostatics, not to be confused with The Howell Brothers (?).  They couldn’t make it but we got their jackets.  It’s nice of you to come out early.  We’re playing selections from our new record. Get it before it’s reduced to clear.”  (You can hear someone laugh on tape).

This is a segue into the single “Bad Time to Be Poor.”  It’s followed by another Tim song, “Claire” with the acoustic guitar opening in place.  There’s another lengthy guitar solo, although it’s not quiet as exciting as some of the other ones.  But Martin was saving up for a spirited version of “California Dreamline.”

They end their set with a rough rocking “Feed Yourself.”  During the spoken part, they slow things down to just a bass and washes of guitar.  It’s a pretty intense ending and a good preparation for The Tragically Hip.

[READ: June 25, 2017] The Story of Canada in 150 Objects

In celebration of Canada’s 150th year, Canadian Geographic and The Walrus created this special issue–a fun way to describe many elements of Canadian culture through “objects.”

The objects are grouped in vague categories.  Some have just a few words written about them while others get a few pages.  Some are humorous, some are more serious.  Most are happy or amusing, some not so much.  And all of it together paints a diverse and complex portrait of the country–as well as teaching this person from South of the border a number of things I did not know.

It’s with comic pride and humility that the first object is politeness (which is not an object at all, of course).  The amusing thing about this article about “politeness” is that while the author of it is very pleased to be so polite, he also can’t wait for his fellow Canucks to forget to be polite so he can rub it in with a extra smarmy “You’re Welcome.” (more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: April 28, 2017] Pinegrove

I first heard Pinegrove on NPR and then I saw their Tiny Desk Concert.  I really liked them and when they announced that sales of their online music would send all proceeds to Planned Parenthood, I knew I had to buy their tunes.  I was also swayed by the fact that they are from Montclair, NJ, a town not to far from where I grew up.

They have been getting fairly popular as of late which I think is wonderful.  And I hope that they continue to thrive and get bigger and bigger.  So that when they are opening for someone at Madison Square Garden, I can say I saw them in a church basement with 600 other people (tickets sold out pretty quickly and I saw people were offering their first-born children for a ticket).

I have never been to a concert where the audience knew and loudly sang every word to nearly every song.  By my reckoning, everyone knew every word to every song on Cardinal, their full length debut.  There are 8 songs on it and the band played 7 of them–not in order–during their 16 song set.  In fact when they opened the show with “Old Friends” the first song on the disc, the room erupted singing along to every word.  And since it was such a small place–with particularly low ceilings–it was the loudest singalong I’ve ever heard.  Check out these clips from “Cadmium.”  It was very cool.

Even more cool was how great the band sounded.  I mentioned before how great the sound was. I want to say it sounded great for a church basement but it was great for almost any room–the band sounded big and loud and perfect.  And that’s good because Sarah and I were simply incapable of pushing our way closer to the stage. It was packed, it was 95 degrees in there and while we did buy some water bottles we were not willing to fight the crowd to get closer.  That means that I never really saw the band.  I did see singer Evan Stephens Hall a  few times, and when I held my camera up (there was literally no one behind me) I was able to see more of the band.  That plus the dark panelled room did not encourage good photos.

I was honestly surprised at how hard it was to see the stage given how small the place was, but in fact the basement was pretty long, so I guess it makes sense.

But the overall vibe was so great, it didn’t matter.  There were people in the back by us dancing, there were a few guys singing a long so loud and emphatically pumping their fists to the words.  I was shocked at how much people love this band who literally have one 30 minute album and a new collection of all their old stuff as recorded output (between the 2 discs it’s a total of 29 songs).  It was really a great experience.

And Hall mentioned a few times how unique this was and how memorable the venue was and how the band was clearly excited by how into it we were.  And I can’t help but thing the fed off of that.

For an encore, they joked that they would walk over there for about ten seconds (they had an 11 o’clock curfew and finished with a couple minutes to spare).  Hall talked about the People’s Climate March in DC that the band was going to the next day (and playing in DC that night).

And they encored with “Recycling” (how many songs mention ocelots?) and a totally crowd singing along version of “New Friends.”

I’m told that the band often hangs around and chats and takes pictures, but it was so hot we could not wait to get out of there.  And after the show we went to Shoo Fry for poutine, which was delicious.

I certainly hope they come to another local venue (they’ve been to Philly 3 times in a year).  I’d love it if it was a nice Jersey venue, mind you.  But I would absolutely see them again, hopefully in a venue where I can actually see them!

SETLIST

  1. Old Friends*
  2. Aphasia*
  3. Visiting*
  4. Over My Shoulder
  5. V
  6. Waveform
  7. Angelina
  8. Easy Enough
  9. Cadmium*
  10. Size of the Moon*
  11. Paterson + Leo
  12. Problems
  13. Need 2
  14. The Metronome
  15. Recycling
  16. New Friends*

*from Cardinal

 

Read Full Post »

newSOUNDTRACK: DANISH STRING QUARTET-Tiny Desk Concert #399 (October 25, 2014).

danishI always enjoy hearing a string quartet that I’m unlikely to hear anywhere other than a Tiny Desk Concert.  It’s fun to listen to them before reading anything about them to try to imagine where they’re coming from musically.   The opening notes of the first song made me think they were a modernist quartet playing music that was repetitive and mildly atonal.

But they quickly swing it around into what turns out to be the first of many traditional Danish wedding folk songs!

While the quartet does play classical pieces as well, for this Tiny Desk Concert, they focus only on songs from their then recent album Wood Works.  The blurb says “the group recently took a musical detour that landed them in the foggy inlets of the Faroe Islands (a Danish outpost halfway between Norway and Iceland) and various Nordic hamlets where folk tunes are played and passed on.”

The first piece is actually three melodies: “Traditional: Ye Honest Bridal Couple — Sønderho Bridal Trilogy Parts I & II”  The piece begins somewhat atonally, but about 2 and a half minutes in the somber tones give way to a spritely melody that sounds like a great lost Irish jig.  But soon enough with the addition of the other strings it sounds very romantic indeed.  In what I presume is part II, around 6 minutes, the cello plays a wonderfully upbeat and catchy rhythm. The violins play staccato notes that keep the rhythm going while the viola and cello continue the melody–it’s pretty awesome.  Especially as the song fades and each of the strings plays the riff in succession.

The second piece is in fact two pieces: Traditional: Sekstur from Vendsyssel — The Peat Dance.”  Once again the two melodies sound kind of like Irish dances (I guess it’s time to call them Danish dances).  The second half of the first part sound great as the full quartet plays a wonderful melody.  But when the second part of the set comes and the super fast fiddling begins, it s hard not to dance (you can even hear someone tapping his foot as he plays).  The big difference between this and Irish dance is the rather formal sounding and lovely ending melody.

The final piece is the third part of the Bridal Trilogy from the first piece: “Traditional (arr. Nikolaj Busk): Sønderho Bridal Trilogy Part III.”  He says that these melodies date back many 100 years and are still used today.  It begins very slowly and almost somberly.  It doesn’t feel very wedding-like to me and of the three this is my least favorite.

The quartet sounds amazing. The players are Violinists Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen and Frederik Øland, violist Asbjørn Nørgaard and cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin.  It’s also kind of funny since three of the four have beards–not something you typically see on a string quartet. They acknowledge this on their website: “We are simply your friendly neighborhood string quartet with above average amounts of beard.”

[READ: June 20, 2016] Something New

Knisley has made a rather successful career out of writing graphic novel memoirs.  She has covered food and travel.  And, in a somewhat surprising twist (if you have been following her books), she just got married.

This is surprising because the man she married is the man she broke up with in one of the previous books.  The story basically tells how they were on an off sorta kinda for years until they finally tied the knot.

So this book is the story of their relationship and their engagement. But beyond that it is also an interesting and helpful guide-book for those who want to get married but who may not be totally on board with all of the conventions and trapping of the wedding industry. (more…)

Read Full Post »

socSOUNDTRACK: TINDERSTICKS-The Hungry Saw [CST055] (2008).

hungryIt was the releases of this Tindersticks disc (their first in 5 years) on the venerable Constellation Records (in North America) that inspired my trip through their back catalog. I was completely surprised to see them released on Constellation, as the band doesn’t exactly fit with the label’s stereotypical style (although, realistically with the last dozen or so releases, Constellation has really expanded the kind of music they release).

And this is a fantastic Tindersticks release!  There’s not a bad song on the disc. And, even though nothing is as immediately gripping as say “Can We Start Again,” the disc contains some of the band’s strongest songs.  “The Hungry Saw” is simply amazing, both lyrically and in its catchy (yet creepy) chorus.  But the highlight is probably “Boobar, Come Back to Me,” a song that begins slowly and builds gloriously, including a call and response segment that makes this song really swagger.

“Mother Dear” features a strangely comical musical episode.  In an otherwise very mellow piano based track, right in the middle of the song, come slashing, somewhat atonal guitar chords.  It’s as if a more rocking song is trying to overtake the mellow track.  (The coup is rebuffed, though).

The biggest thing to note about the disc is that longtime co-songwriter Dickon has left the band.  And so, some of the co-writing duties have been taken up by David Boulter.  While it is obviously sad that Dickon has left, Staples seems revitalized on this disc, and Boulter’s additions (especially his quirky instrumentals) bring a new point of view to the proceedings.  Also of note is something of a return to the orchestral style (albeit a much more understated version).  However, different songs emphasize different aspects: horns on one, strings on another, but always underscored by the ubiquitous Hammond organ.

It’s not a radical departure or anything like that.  It’s more of a continuation after a well earned vacation.  And it’s certainly their strongest release since their first four.

[READ & WATCHED: October 2009] Souvenir of Canada, Souvenir of Canada 2 & Souvenir of Canada (the movie)

I got the first Souvenir of Canada when it came out.  (I was on a big Coupland kick and may have even bought it in Montreal).  I didn’t get #2 when it came out, probably because I didn’t really invest a lot of effort into the first one.  But after recently reading City of Glass, I wanted to get a little more involved in Coupland’s visual art.  So, I picked up #2 and, while investigating this second book, I discovered that he had made a film of the books, too.

Coupland explains in the introduction that this book is his personal vision of what Canada is like. It is designed for Canadians as something of a nostalgia trip, but it is also something of an introduction to unseen Canada for non-Canadians.  And so, what you don’t get is pictures of mounties and Tim Hortons and other things that fit the stereotypical Canadian bill. Rather, you get things that are significant to Coupland (and maybe the average Canadian born on the West Coast in the 60s). (more…)

Read Full Post »

so-youSOUNDTRACK: MIKE FORD-Canada Needs You volume two (2008).

fordThis is the long awaited follow up to Mike Ford’s first Canada Needs You CD.  Volume Two covers Canada’s history in the 20th Century.

The album is more fun than the first because there are several tracks where Ford uses a stylistically appropriate music to go with the songs: “Talkin’ Ten Lost Years” uses a Woody Guthrie-inspired “talking blues” to go along with the Depression-era lyrics.  “Let’s Mobilize” is done in a great swing style for a 1940s/50s era song.  “Joey Smallwood” uses a near-perfect Johnny Cash style (it may not be time-appropriate since Cash is timeless, but it works great for the song).  “Maurice Richard” is a perfect Dylanesque folk song.  And finally, the pièce de résistance is “Expo 67!” It is so wonderfully Burt Bacharach-y, so perfectly late sixties it gets stuck in your head for days! C’est Magnifique!

The rest of the album, especially the first three songs do not try to match a song style to the time it discusses.  Rather, he sings about Canadian history in a folk/rock style ala Moxy Fruvous (Creeping Barrage” and “In Winnipeg”) or in a great R&B/girl group style–with actual female singers, not himself in a falsetto (“Tea Party”) or reggae on “I’m Gonna Roam Again.”

The songs are all great.  And, yes, it’s a great way to learn some history (I’ve already Googled Joey Smallwood, just to see who he was.  I’m trying to get all of the lyrics down, but it’s not always easy, especially if you don’t know the details of what he’s singing about.  Which leads to my only gripe.

My gripe is that the disc packaging doesn’t include much information.  And, since he is essentially teaching people about the history of Canada, I’d think that some details should be included in the packaging.  I realize of course, that he says that the he’ll have the information on his website, but since we’re carrying the disc with us (not the website), it’d be nice to have at least a summary like on Volume One.  Because frankly, I don’t know enough about Canadian history to know what he’s talking about on most of the tracks.

The only problem is that as of this writing he hasn’t put the information on his website yet.  D’oh!

[READ: Christmas 2007] So You Want to Be Canadian

iamcI am Canadian.  Okay, I’m not, but I’ve had the beer, and I’ve seen the commercial (hilarious) and I’ve been there several times. I even have Canadian satellite broadcast into my home (long story).  So, I’ve seen Rick Mercer’s Talking to Americans, and I’ve been a fan of Corner Gas long before it was broadcast down here. (more…)

Read Full Post »