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Archive for the ‘The English Beat’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-Fall Nationals, Night 9 of 10, The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto (December 16, 2005).

This was the second to last night, the 9th night of their 10 night Fall Nationals run at the Horseshoe.

This show seems to be a confluence of technical difficulties and goofs.  The band is probably loopy after eight nights.  They even got under way late, apparently.

They open with “Saskatchewan.”  The song sounds great, the band is really into it. The backing vocals are great and the song soars.  But then they spend nearly 6 minutes trying to figure stage issues out.   Martin says, “Tim’s acoustic guitar is strung in Nashville tuning.  You should try it sometime.” (I wonder what that means).

Thanks to Great Aunt Ida for opening for us tonight.

Martin says “This is the Cazostatics.  Hugo Boss’ line of clothing. You notice Tim’s flannel shirt.”  Dave and Martin talk about “guys touching their nipples, a  21st century phenomenon.”  Martin: “It was funny 12 years ago.  There’s one person who can do it I love him.”  (I wonder who that is).

After a few minutes, Dave says, “Be careful or I’ll start talking about merch….  All right, I’m talking about merch (merch bassline).

This song (Tim’s new song) is worth it, I like it a lot.  Tim: “this better be a good fucking song is all I have to say.”  “Sunshine At Night” sounds good.

Don’t forget the bongos.  Martin:  “last night, I got to play the bongos with a black turtleneck on.”  Dave: “I think you mean you got away with playing bongos wearing a black turtleneck.”

Then comes two songs from Introducing Happiness.   “Fish Tailin'” and “Me and Stupid.”  At the end, Dave says, “Tim, a little horn pipe on the bass.”  Which he does.  And then Dave says, “one thing we don’t know about Ford Pier–have you ever recited poetry?”  “Never have done, sir?” Anything that rhymes?  Greeting cards?”  When pressed he comes with a verse from 7 Seconds’ “Colourblind.”

There’s nothing funny when you think about
All the hate in this world makes me just wanna shout
Whether Black, White, Brown, Red, Yellow, or Blue
All the caring in the world will depend on you
We gotta fight to change things; help rearrange things
Get along; stand together; live as one
But the only way to do it is to get right to it
Communicate, ?, and getting things done

Martin: “This is a weird night.”  Dave: “Here’s “Marginalized.”  The bass is off.  After a verse, Dave stops the song.  “The bass is really out of tune and the bass is vital.  I wouldn’t have stopped if it wasn’t really out of tune.”  Tim: “That’s the “Palomar” tuning form like two nights ago.”  Dave: “Sorry this shows gonna take 14 hours.  Have you heard about the merch?” (jazz chords).

Pick it up at the first chorus.  Dave stops it again.

Tim: “Hang on a sec, I think you might have just been playing the wrong notes.”
Dave: “Even a moron like me can play a G.”
Martin: “Cazostatics”
Dave: “I could fucking kick this bass with my foot and G would ring out.”
Tim: “That’s the approximate bass.”

Tim just picks up again and finished the song with “Little Caesar” by Vic Chesnutt.

Martin has a lot of fun with the goofy voice saying “Hi there.”  They play a great version of “The Tarleks” and then “Fan Letter To Michael Jackson.”   Near the end of the song Dave says, “let’s rock.”  Then pauses and says, “but first let’s reluctantly rock.”  Tim: “may we rock?”  Dave:  “Not yet.”  Martin: “Sorry.  May we sheepishly rock?”  Dave: “Martin is exhibiting a slight degree of frock on his very unrock guitar.  Tim’s digging in.  Ford has put away that nasty French horn and is coming to the dark side.  Now we must rock.”

At the end, Martin takes off with “RDA” but after he starts it gets shut down.  “Aww, wrangler Dave.”
Mike: “It’s only good when Dave calls out the chords.”
Martin: “Sorry dad, I didn’t mean to come out like that.”

Martin:  “I’m playing a double neck guitar.  The upper neck has 12 strings.  The lower four of which are in octaves although two appear to be missing.  The lower neck is a normal 6 string guitar.”  In a cheesy voice: “I love this axe.  It has rocked me through many a show.  Check this out.  The lower neck resonates in the upper neck.  That’s no gizmo.  That’s in the axe.  Have I blown your mind?”

Ford: “Your inner pedagogue has really reared its head for this last Fall Nationals.  You’ve been giving away all your shit.  Kiss wouldn’t even tell people how they kept their make up from running.”

Dave says he wants to make a parody instructional guitar DVD.  Ford: “Parody my nutsack.”  Would anybody buy that?  Tim says he would buy it if it was called “Parody My Nutsack: Dave Bidini on Rhythm Guitar.”

Ford says we’re demonstrating the chatter-to-music ratio.

This one’s called “Smokin’ Sweet Grass.”  They start “Making Progress” which Tim says is “for the guy who just shouted ‘fucking play.'”  It’s followed by a nice “Little Bird Little Bird.”

Ford tells a story about finding moth larvae on his suit pants.  Every time he pauses, Dave plays a rim shot.
Tim tells his own story (Dave still doing rim shots).  He says they  got a dog which the cats hate.  The vet gave him something you plug in the wall to release pheromones to make you cat feel good.  Like cat prozac.  Dave: “I snorted that backstage at the Duran Duran reunion.”  Tim: “He gave us a sample and we’re on it tonight.  So everything is okay.  Until the end of the world.”

“Here Comes The Image” features MPW on the synth.  Martin: “Mike forgot his mustache wax.  It’s followed by “Who Is This Man and Why Is He Laughing?” with Jennifer Foster (better known in some parts as JFo).  Tim: Dave Bidini on drums for two songs in a row.  Pretty awesome.”

“Pornography” starts slow, but the end picks up and rocks.  Martin says “Tim Vesely, the lizard king.”

Tim says this night is full of a crowd full of people who came from shitty office parties.  Dave: “Our office party was tonight, two clubs over.”

“In This Town” rocks and is followed by “PIN”  Dave says it’s from Night of the Shooting Stars, the black album.  At the end, Martin starts making goat noises (??).  Eat me, feeeeeeeed me.

Next comes “Four Little Songs.”  Martin sings his verse like a goat.  For our third little song, last night’s comedy guests The Imponderables.  Their bit is all about dreams.  Three guys tell their dreams.  The fourth guy comes out.  He’s certainly naked, possibly with an erection. Everyone reacts appropriately. Dave: “That’s The Imponderables and that’s John’s cock.”  In Dave;s verse he sings “your voice will ring out like a giant…schlong.”  He ends the song saying, “There’s certain things that make our Horseshoe stands that much more memorable.”

Ford plays a roller rink version of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”  After two minutes, Tim starts singing “Shangri-La” (by The Kinks) which segues into “Bad Time To Be Poor.”   Man someone’s guitar is way off playing sour notes through the whole thing.

Then the return to “RDA.”  It rocks and they have guests from Lowest of the Low Steve Stanley and Paul (can;t find his last name).  Mid song they launch into a heavy version of “I’m So Bored With The USA.”  Paul rails about middle management and wants cultural diversity he wants middle management to get out of public broadcasting.  Dave: “Will someone save Canada from itself?”

Ford sings The English Beat’s “Save It For Later.”  And then they end with a 20 minute medley

“Takin’ Care Of Business” (anybody bring a cowbell?), into “My Generation.”  Martin sings “One More Colour.”  It jumps to “P.R.O.D.” with Mr Ron Koop.  Over to G.  after a few bars, Ford says, “the suspense is killing me.”  So Dave plays “Bud The Spud.”  He kind of mumbles it very fast, “that’s the closest I’ve ever come to rapping.”  It turns into “Radios In Motion” and then into “Blitzkrieg Bop.”  Dave: Take it down to Bflat… never mind take it back to A.  Ford sings “Monkey Man” by Amy Winehouse.  It becomes “Green Sprouts.”  Dave: “You know what I hate in this song?”  The bridge?  Tim: “Take it to the bridge.”  The audience chanting 1,2,3,4.  Tim instructs them.

Thanks to the Lowest of the Low, Great Aunt Ida, The Imponderables and TruthHorse tomorrow.

[READ: August 8, 2017] Demon Vol. 2

I really enjoyed the far out and rather over the top premise of volume 1 of this series (of four in total).

Volume 2 is much larger than Volume 1 (about 50 pages larger).  And that extra size allows for more complexity.

And I admit I was a bit confused from time to time.  The whole premise of the story is a little confusing in a wrap-your-head-around-it kinda way, but he added a new element that was a major Wha?? moment.

So Jimmy Yee, is a boring 44-year-old actuary.  He didn’t realize that he was actually a demon until the day before when he tried to kill himself.  Now whenever his body dies, the demon jumps into the nearest body.  His personality transfers to the new body, and Shiga represents this by having Jimmy’s face on each new body (but if someone else looks at that person he still looks like what the now-possesed person’s face.

Jimmy has been experimenting with this whole Demon thing.  And that means inhabiting various body and killing them (which looks like suicide).  The police are after him for the series of murders he has committed (even though he himself is technically dead). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 14, 2016] Squeeze

2016-10-14-22-01-21Squeeze’s 1982 Greatest Hits album 45s and Under is my favorite Greatest Hits record of all time.  And yet, I don’t actually own any other Squeeze records.

But over the last year or so my friend Amy has been posting pictures of all the Squeeze and Squeeze-related shows she’s been going to.  And I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  So when they announced they were playing The Keswick Theatre (which I’d never been to before, but which I knew was an intimate venue), I snatched up tickets.

And as their T-Shirt says (see bottom) I’d forgotten how much I like Squeeze. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 14, 2016] The English Beat

2016-10-14-20-21-09I’ve been a fan of The English Beat (and other luminary ska bands) for years.  When I saw that The English Beat with Dave Wakeling was touring the States (apparently non stop) I thought it would be fun to see them.  They played the New Hope Winery once in a while, but I thought the tickets were a little pricey.  So I was thrilled to see that they’d be opening for Squeeze–a great double bill!

The band played for a solid hour and covered most of the songs of their career.  It was non-stop dancing and fun.  Well, it would have been except that the Keswick Theater is seated, so most of us couldn’t really dance, but we could stand.  And the  aisles and were packed with people who didn’t want to sit down and just danced instead.  (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: THE ENGLISH BEAT Live at KEXP , March 8, 2007 (2007).

Afebkexpter enjoying the 2010 Bumbershoot concert I found this earlier in-studio show from The English Beat.  It’s amusing that it’s longer than the Bumbershoot concert (they play three of the same songs and eight in total).  This set introduces a few less “famous” tracks, like “Hands Off She’s Mine” and “Ranking Full Stop.”  They also play a “new” song called “Said We Would Never Die,” a sweet ballad in which he sounds a bit like Bob Mould singing.

When they play “Save It for Later,” they introduce the song with a verse from Pearl Jam’s “Better Man,” which must be a nod to Pearl Jam’s constant placement of “Save It for Later” in the jam session at the end of “Better Man” when they play it live.  The song ends with a lengthy sax solo.

Overall, this set is slightly less enjoyable for me than the Bumbershoot one.  The band adds a bit more jam into the set–the songs are longer and a bit more mellow feeling, which doesn’t work for ska.  But they all sound good and Dave Wakeling is very funny in his chats with the DJ.  He talks about his guitar being in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and the history of the ska movement.  How labels felt burnt that they missed the Sex Pistols and wanted to get whatever the next trend was.  This was interesting in that he talks about reggae and punk bands playing together on the same bill (before the skinheads went racist) and how the mellow reggae and the fast punk kept the dancefloor full if they alternated.  He also says that when they introduced the Beat Girl, it made the boys in the audience stop getting into  fights with each other and try to impress the girls.

As they head into their final song (“Tenderness”) Dave notes that “the first 27 years are the hardest.”  Hear if he’s right.

[READ: January 31, 2012] Rachel Rising 5-7

I have finally gotten around to reading some more Rachel Rising (it’s only been ten months), and I see that there are already several new issues out (I should get a subscription).

As I mentioned in the end of my review of the first four books, Terry Moore has gone to a really dark place with this series.  By the end of Book 7, my mouth was left agape, because I never thought that Terry would go quite so dark!

I like the way that Book 5 is more or less split in half with the first half being all about Rachel trying to fit back in with her friends (Jet reminds her of their pinkie swear to tell the truth about everything).  And yet there’s also Dr Siemen who states matter of factly (at the dinner table) that Rachel is the Angel of Death.

The second half of the book involves the little girl (she’s so cute with her pigtails).  A foster family is coming to take her for the night while the authorities try to figure out what happened to her house and family.  Moore goes dark right away with the man of the foster family showing his true colors, but the girl will have none of it.  And there’s a scene in an elevator which happens in movies, and yet in real life, I’ve never heard of an elevator door that doesn’t open when something gets stuck in it. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: THE ENGLISH BEAT-Live at Bumbershoot, September 6, 2010 (2010).

I’ve always loved ska.  So to see that the (English) Beat were playing shows and playing them for download on KEXP was  a pretty grand thing.

I’m still trying to figure out if these short sets from Bumbershoot were KEXP-only shows (in which the band plays a brief set and then they play the actual show later), but I believe so. Anyhow, the band sounds great, singer Dave Wakeling is a great frontman, telling amusing stories about the songs and generally charming everyone (his singing voice still sounds great, too).

Wakeling has a nice little diatribe about Target.  It begins with him saying how he never was asked to be in a commercial before Target asked him for “Tenderness.”  And now it’s everywhere.  But he’s upset that Target supported the  anti-gay candidate in Minnesota.  He promises that if he ever gets the money from the ads, it will go to support the candidate’s opponent.  He also says that “Mirror in the Bathroom” was not about cocaine–they couldn’t afford it bcak then.

I’m not really sure who is in the band on this tour.  Ranking Roger is apparently running another English Beat band in the U.K.  Sigh.  But regardless, this was like a wonderful flashback to the long lost art of ska.  The set is a collection of highlights from their 80s career.  I mean look at all the great songs they wrote: “I’ll Take You There,” “I Confess,” “Save It for Later,” “Never You  Done That,” “Tenderness,” and “Mirror in the Bathroom.”

Listen for yourself here.

[READ: November 27, 2012] Echo #27-30

The problem with a comic book that comes out every six weeks (especially if you stopped going to the comic books store) is that it’s easily forgotten, no matter how much you like it (my rave of issues 25 and 26 leave me stunned that it has been almost two years since I last read the story).  But I recently went to my local shoppe and scored these last few issues (#30 even signed by Terry himself).  And I immediately got back into the story.

So as #27 picks up, we see that the climax is almost at hand.  Ivy, the hardened agent is growing younger and younger and is forgetting more.  Meanwhile, Julie is almost completely covered by the alloy and is now a giant.  And Annie is surfacing more and more in Julie (Annie is in the alloy’s DNA) which means Dillon is allowed a degree of closeness and closure.

#28 was awesome because it tied this universe back to the Strangers in Paradise world even more.  They are still using Tambi, the bodyguard, (from SiP) who worked for Darcy.  In this issue she interrogates another member of Darcy’s team (with the telltale tattoo).  By the end of the book Ivy is a mere child (the fact that Moore can draw this–keeping her Ivy and yet now looking like a little kid with such few lines is amazing). (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: The Believer July/August 2009 Music Issue Compilation CD: “Fantastic and Spectacular” (2009).

After the globe-spanning CD in last year’s issue, the 2009 Believer CD returns to the dominant musical style of the first few.  This disc is a collection of unreleased, acoustic songs from the editors’ favorite singer-songwriters.

And, wow, check out the bands that are represented here: Sam Phillips, The Clean, The Waterboys, Lloyd Cole, Young Marble Giants, The English Beat, Lisa Germano, Unrest, Suddenly, Tammy!, The Lilac Time and Mary Margaret O’Hara.  It’s an amazing collection of artists who agreed to release these songs only to this Believer compilation.

The liner notes ask a few questions of each artist so you get a nice peek into their working styles.  And for a few of them you find out what they’ve been up to for the last few years.  Although, sadly Mary Margaret O’Hara (sister of actress Catherine O’Hara!) only mentions that you can get a copy of her only released album Miss America directly from her.  And since I thin it’s a great album, I’ll pass along her email for ordering purposes only: m2oh8 @ hotmail.com.

So, what do we get in this collection?  Sam Phillips provides a fantastic drum-heavy, 90 second song.  Robert Scott’s song is a delightful, simple acoustic track.  I’ve always liked The Waterboys, but Mike Scott tends to go on and on, and this track is no exception.  It’s very very catchy but it’s over 10  minutes long!  The consistently excellent Lloyd Cole doesn’t disappoint.  Phil Wilson’s poppy number is very good.

I’m surprised that I don’t have any Young Marble Giants in my collection, and Stuart Moxham’s song here makes me want to see what I’m missing.  I swore that Dave Wakeling of The English Beat was Bob Mould on this song, but as soon as I saw who he was I recognized that English Beat voice in a more intimate setting.

Mark Robinson of Unrest also records as Cotton Candy, and this absurdly poppy ditty (the only duet on the disc) provides the title of the disc and one of the truly happiest moments. Except, of course, for Beth Sorrentino from Suddenly, Tammy! whose song “Such a Beautiful Day” is absolutely wonderful.  And if it is any indication of the greatness of Suddenly , Tammy!  then their absence from the msuicial scene is a real shame.

Stephen Duffy who records as Tin Tin and The Lilac Time writes songs that are instantly memorable and catchy as anything.  This one is no exception. And the Mary Margaret O’Hara song is not quite as out there as you might expect from her, but it’s really quite good.  I wonder what she has been up to for decades now.

There’s a secret bonus track from a brand new New Zealand band called Haunted Love.  When this issue went to print they were about to release their first EP, and this track doesn’t even appear on that (it’s THAT secret!).  It’s a great song and I hope good things come to them.  It is also not acoustic, but everyone can break their own rules once in a while right?

This is another string compilation from The Believer.  The track listing is here.

[READ: December 16, 2009] “Diary of an Interesting Year”

So this story is, indeed, a diary.  It is written in several entrees.  And, as we learn from the first entry, the diary itself was a gift to the writer from G. for her 30th birthday.  And, although we don’t learn it from the first entry, we quickly discover that global warming predictions were accurate and, basically the earth as we know it is no more.

But what I liked about the writing was that it revealed this global catastrophe somewhat subtly.

(more…)

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