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Archive for the ‘Stephen Malkmus’ Category

shackSOUNDTRACK: THE VIOLET ARCHERS-The Anza Club Vancouver, BC (October 22, 2005).

anzaThis is the final show on RheostaticsLive by The Violet Archers.  Tim says this was their first tour and first album.  Ida Nilsen is playing keys throughout the show (and adding backing vocals).  This is the first time she has played live with them for these online shows.

Tim opens the show by saying “We’re the Violet Archers from more or less Toronto, Canada.” He continues, “We have a new album out and the second song [“Coordinates”] goes exactly like this” (although it has kind of a rough start).  In the previous show, Tim sang “All the Good” solo, but it sounds much better with the full band.  Yawd takes a really blistering solo.  Even the drums sound great–he’s really smacking the heck out of them. Tim says it is a “true story with some muscular guitar from Yawd.” Having all of those voices complete this minor chord masterpiece is great.

We learn that Yawd is also in a band called Wayne Omaha.  And that the Archers drove through Beautyland (which I can’t find out anything about!) on their way from Nelson–before then Beautyland was only a picture on a cheap paper place mat.  By the way, Dave and Michele organized the show and are selling beer–the more beer you buy, the more money we make.

“Time to Kill” sounds great–upbeat and catchy.  After the song Tim says, “it’s about waiting for the next Steve Malkmus album to come out.”

In introducing Ida Nilson he says she is from Great Aunt Ida.  You might remember them from oh 15 minutes ago.  Then another member says (and J.P., Scott and Barry.  Tim says “they put the Great in Aunt Ida”).

“The End of Part One” (the title track of their latest album, Tim jokes) really uses the keyboards.  It has lots of backing vocals, including Ida’s which really fleshes out the song (although it sounds slower here than in other shows).

They dedicate a song to someone because it’s her birthday.  “We take requests, do bar mitvahs, corporate functions (bring us some of your corporate dollars–big dollars!).  We don’t do weddings (we don’t believe in the institution of marriage).  Ah hell, we’ll play at weddings (Ida asks, how much?).  This is the intro to a lovely version of “Simple” which is nearly a duet with Tim and Ida.

We also learn that when they were playing in Nelson, Tim taught Spirit Dancing Lessons (another market they cornered–Tim’s giving lessons after the show).  The next song is “Another one for lovers,” which Yawd says is called “Come the Night” although on record it is actually called “A Rising Tide.”  I love the loud chorus, with kind of darker chords.

Interestingly, they play some new songs (from the next album).  They are looking for a title for this song which is now called “new song.” It will eventually be called “Listening.”  It’s quiet and sweet.  Cam Giroux is playing drums tonight (not quite the newest member of the band).

They play their “most political number” called “First the Wheel.”  Then the band starts clapping slowly for Ida to start “Fools Gold Rope” and she asks them to stop–this is a quiet song–she is the singer. It’s mostly just her on the keyboard.  At the end she says I hope you don’t mind if I miss a few chords now and then.

Another song for the new record is the super catchy “Insecure.”  It’s a great duet with Ida and Tim.  On record there’s a horn solo, but the guitars do just as well here.

Scott Remilla on bass is the newest band member, from the band Raising the Fawn.  And coincidentally “Path of Least Resistance” opens with a bass solo.  He takes a long time to start and Tim asks, you want more of an introduction?”  Then they play the upbeat “Life and Then” (which Tim says is sort of about making maple syrup from the blood of trees).

Last call, last song, it’s all coming together.  “Track Display” is about his car stereo.  After a super long intro, Tim sings flat and coughs and laughs and says I need a minute, we could all use a minute.

For the encore, they play another new one called the “Violet Archers Theme Song” (just Tim on guitar and vocals).  And they end the show with “Here Come the Feelings,” a great rocking song to end the set with (they don’t screw up the 5 count this time).

I wish there were more live shows from them, as they are a fun rocking band.  But at least they did get to record a second album.

[READ: June 3, 2015] Shackleton

One of the cool things about reading all of the First Second graphic novels is that I find stuff that I wouldn’t choose to read because of the subject matter.  This book is about an antarctic expedition.  And while it was very good, I never would have picked it up based on that premise alone.  But I really enjoyed the book and was delighted by what I learned from it.

This is the story of Ernest Shackleton, a real explorer (I’d never heard of him) who was determined to explore Antarctica.

He had made two expeditions before this book is set.  The first, the Discovery Expedition 1901-1904, was meant to discover the South Pole.  They got to 78 degrees (the pole is at 90).  Then he crewed the Second Expedition, the Nimrod Expedition 1907-1909, when they got to 88 degrees (about 97 miles from the pole).  Shackleton was knighted but unsatisfied. Especially when Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole in 1910-1912 and then Robert Falcon Scott completed the Terra Nova Expedition 1910-1913 (Amundsen beat them by a month).  Shackleton was furious about losing out to these men so he determined to cross Antarctica on foot.  He set out in 1914.
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