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SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICSFall Nationals The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, ON. Night 3 of 13 (November 12, 2003).

This was the 3rd night of the Rheostatics 13 night Fall Nationals run at the Horseshoe.  Rheostatics Live has recordings of nights 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7.

As the show starts, Tim says, “Thanks for coming out.”

So Dave replies, “Why, you’re welcome, Tim.  I was doing nothing else so I figured why not play a little drums, a little bass, a little guitar.”

“Here Comes The Image” opens the show (Dave is on drums for this).  It’s slow with lots of cool keys from M.P.W.  The sound quality fades dramatically about 3 minutes in.

Dave explains, “That was an epic song by Tim Vesely.  We’re gonna do another epic song now.  Epic means just long basically, and grand.”  It’s “Oneilly’s Strange Dream.”  Which Dave describes as a song that “was supposed to the be the equivalent of an Edgar Rice Burroughs book.  He’s the guy who wrote Tarzan.  Not to be confused with William S. Burroughs–an urban jungle thing still a lot of guys with no shirts on.”  Martin: “I hate those guys.”

Martin repeats the first verse.   There’s some great powerful drumming in the middle of the song.  The sound levels go back up during this song.

The final notes are a little cockeyed and you hear someone re-sing “pile of bones laying at my side” with that bad chord.

They play Woodstuck “with a drum fill.”  Dave says it’s an old song and someone asks him what it’s about.  Dave tells a story about touring in 1987 and he tells a strange story about a merch guy.  It’s pretty strange and ends with: that’s a song about Brett.  We left him in Calgary naked, quivering under the bed.  Tim says “we didn’t leave him, we gave him to another band: Pigfarm.

Mike notes that “that story was on the set list.  That was a tune.”

Next they play a new song (from 2067), “The Latest Attempt On Your Life.”  It seems they haven’t quite figured out the backing vocals live yet.  “CCYPA” rocks and then they settle things down with “Introducing Happiness” and “Power Ballad for Ozzy Osbourne” (with no ending howl from Martin).

Dave says this is our 3rd annual Fall Nationals.  Mike asks if there is a theme for this night.  No, but one might emerge.

Mike says, “A bolt of lightning struck exactly one block from my house this evening.”  (Dave makes an allusion to Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush (who “inherited the soul of Jimi Hendrix”).

They play a sweet version of “It’s Easy To Be With You,” about which Dave says, “Boy is this song ever about cocaine.”

Next Thursday is an all covers night, so they’re going to do some tonight to make sure they know what they’re doing.

They play Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Only Living Boy in New York,” which I don’t know at all. Martin sings and plays gentle guitar.

Then they start joking about “Old Garfunkel, eh?”

He walked across America with just a credit card…it’s true.  Talk about time on your hands.  I thought it was a knife and a rope.   I heard it was credit card shoes.  Shoes made out of old credit cards.  That was his last album Credit Card Shoes.

In Edinburgh we listened to Scissors Cut about 20 times.  Weirdest album ever made.  Scissors cut and yet the hair remains.

They finally get to a quiet “Palomar” with limited backing vocals.

Somebody in the audience says “I heard you guys have a synchronized soft shoe routine.”  Tim says,”we’re waiting for that to become an Olympic event before we unveil it.”  Dave says, “I couldn’t remember if it was black square white square or white square black square.”

Martin introduces “Self Serve Gas Station”: Take it away Dave.”  But Dave plays “Roll Another Number” bu Neil Young which segues in to “Self Serve.”  The quiet guitar section at the end segues beautifully into “California Dreamline.”

They play a cover of The Clash’s “London Calling,” which sounds great although Dave is a little not angry enough.

People shout out “Michael Jackson”  Martin: “pleased to announce that Michael Jackson is in the audience tonight.”

Then after lots of ums there’s discussion of what to play. Martin in HAL’s calm voice “Why not both, David.  Let’s do both.”  They play “One More Colour,” but then go to an encore break.

Thanks all.  “Frozen rock pose.”  Dave: “We are Frozen Rock Pose.”

We have a few more for you—Dave sings “My First Rock Show” and gets the wrong verse!  He also sings “I ‘sore’ [sic] everything.”  Tim calls him on that.  At “swan dived,” Mike plays a thunderous drum and Dave recites a spiel:

The drums of war were in the air yet they were peaceable times.
And you saw a band like Yello and found out that they sucked and it didn’t cost you $85 to find out.  No $21.50.  Trixter, Heart, The J Geils Band.    Meat Loaf, Blue Peter, The Spoons.  A Flock of Seagulls.  No A-ha did not play.  OMD  OMD, baby.  Oingo Boingo at the first Police picnic.  To Martin: Are those guitar sounds a flock of seagulls?  Dave: they were the best, not the best but they were good.

Where to?  A Flock of Seagulls.  No Tim will do a Warren Zevon song.  called “Reconsider Me.”  I don’t know it.  He sings very high and off a bit.  He groans but then by the middle he says its coming to me and he finished okay with a “Sorry, Warren, I tried.”

We’re here til next Saturday and tomorrow night is guest vocals night.  We have 26 guest vocalists.  We better get in the habit of thanking our guests.

Andrew Houghton played tonight.  And Serena Ryder the next two nights held over by popular acclaim.  They end the with a poppy “In This Town.”

[READ: January 25, 2017] The Ugly

I read a review of this book that made it sound really compelling and strange.  And the back of the book has some of that compelling strangeness in the blurb:

Muzhduk the Ugli the Fourth is a 300-pound boulder-throwing mountain man from Siberia whose tribal homeland is stolen by an American lawyer out to build a butterfly conservatory for wealthy tourists.  In order to restore his people’s land and honor, Muzhduk must travel to Harvard Law School to learn how to throw words instead of boulders.

And that is exactly what happens.  Along with a bunch of other strange things.

I enjoyed the way the story was told.  There are basically parallel narratives.  One is told in first person and is Muzhduk’s life after Harvard (perhaps the present), the other is told in third person and is all about his life at Harvard law school.

But the story begins with the Dull-Boulder Throw.  In his village a chief is determined by who can catch (and throw) a boulder hurled at your chest.  Muzhduk the Ugli the Fourth is the next in line for the throne–his ancestors have all been leaders–but he is the smallest of his lineage being only 300 pounds.

Nevertheless, he knows he must defeat Hulagu who was inbred huge and dumb.  If Hulagu won, the tribe would suffer.  And so for the good of the tribe, he win the Throw. But the second part of becoming chief was climbing the tallest mountain.  Each of his ancestors had climbed a taller mountain, and now his task was trying to find one taller than the tallest one around here. (more…)

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harp marchSOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-Ted’s Wrecking Yard Toronto, ON, (March 25, 2000).

tedsThis was the sixth and final night of Green Sprouts Music Week–the band’s annual residency at Ted’s Wrecking Yard.  Sadly this is the only night that is up on the site, but man, is it a good one.  The band played for over two and a half hours and they cover nearly every album.  There are guests galore, there’s on stage hijinks and a great sense of fun for band and fans alike.

 I don’t know what they played on other nights but there is a still a focus on Harmelodia. Things are a little different this night from previous shows on the tour.  “Song of the Garden” and “Sweet Rich Beautiful Mine” are really rocking. When they call in a female vocalist up, a fans shouts out “we could use a little estrogen” and they get it with her lead vocals.

Kevin Hearn joins them on keyboards.  He ges a verse in “Four Little Songs.”  He also adds piano to “Queer” which sounds extra jaunty  And he puts accordion in “I Fab Thee.”  There’s even the unexpected Kevin song “Yellow Days Under a Lemon Sun” which originally appears on the Group of 7 disc.

The most fun is had during “My First Rock Show, in which several “guests” appear during the song.  Meatloaf (Kevin) plays a bit of “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” Geddy, Alex and Neil (Martin) show up to play a verse of “Closer to the Heart” with Martin screeching “salesmen!” There’s a brief jam of Walk This Way (although no one can remember the words).  And there’s some fun with Joe Jackson’s “Is She Really Goin Out with Him.”  Look over there.  Where?  That’s called a hook.  There’s also a funny joke about playing “Harvest X-1, Rush Never Sleeps.”

There’s some real guests too, Karmen from Sheks? sings “One More Colour” and sounds awful, like she can’t hear what the band is doing.  Julia Pietrus guests on “Home Again.”  She sings her verse in Polish (and is part of a Polish Rheos tribute band!).

There’s a drum solo (!) on “Dope Fiends and Booze Hounds.”  The set and the night ends with “A Midwinter Nights Dream.”  Martin sounds in great voice even if he cant hit all th ehigh notes which is undetsnable after nearly 2 and a half hours of playing

They also mention that their next show is Canada Day and that is our next show as well

[READ: March 4, 2015] “Make Me Live”

I am always intrigued by the fiction that appears in the front section of each Harper’s issue.  It is typically not an author I have heard of and is often a translation.  It’s also usually really short (often excerpted) so that if it’s not so good, you’re not stuck with a long read and if it is good it whets your appetite for a longer piece.

This excerpt is a definite appetite whetter.

I genuinely can’t imagine how long Mislaid (the full novel) is, because this story just seems to fly through time in a real hurry 9and feels rather complete).

It opens with Peggy Vaillancourt’s birth in 1948 in Virginia.  Her family was educated and rather reserved.  Her mother had hoped to send her to Bryn Mawr, but Peggy wanted to go to Stillwater, a former plantation and current finishing school.  It was considered a mecca for lesbians.

I’m confused about the transformative event in Peggy’s life in which a gym teacher, Miss Miller,  readjusts her gym shorts and Peggy assumes she was meant to be a boy.  The story seems to bulldoze forward whether you can keep up or not.  So I have no idea if an average female reader would “get” what happened here (it doesn’t seem to be sexual to me). It also seems odd that one incident should affect her so profoundly, but there ya go. (more…)

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