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Archive for the ‘Canoeing’ 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…)

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After enjoying yet another article from Outside, I figured it was time to subscribe, you know, give the magazine makers some money for their work.

I decided to wait for three issues to offer a verdict because the first two were really disappointing.  Subscriptions run $2 an issue with a list price of $7.  I haven’t really talked about subscription prices of other magazines before but this one is quite high.  It’s staggeringly high for the amount of ads that are in the magazine, too.  They have a half a dozen advertorials which look like articles (which I hate) and all those personals in the back.  Plus the mag is littered with ads for gear (which I know gear people love but still  it should impact the price of the magazine.  Sheesh).

So the articles I’ve enjoyed in the past were personal stories (from the likes of Wells Tower, etc).  They are extended pieces by reasonably famous authors and they have a great voice.  In the issues I’ve received so far, the feature stories have been the 50 Best Jobs and Are You Tough Enough?  That Jobs one seems like a fun article and indeed the places they chose were interesting.   Although this was more of a fluff piece than a real article–no one is getting a job looking at these companies–certainly not just because they read about it here.  Also, note that none of the companies are East of the Mississippi.  There’s also later article on adventure seeking entrepreneurs.  Yawn.  I gather that the Are You Tough enough type of article is the real meat and potatoes of the magazine, with headlines like “Eat Like a Champion” and “Surfing Monster Waves,” the actual target audience for this magazine must be slim indeed.  I know it’s not me. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: ODDS-Neopolitan (1991).

This was the first Odds album.  For such a quirky name, Odds played some pretty standard music. I’m not even sure if the first song qualifies as “alternative” as it sounds not unlike an early Phish song, only less quirky (and much shorter).

The disc offers a pretty nice range of poppy tracks, from acoustic based songs like “Are You Listening?” to louder guitar rockers liked “Evolution Time” (probably the most interesting track here).

Another notable song is “Wendy Under the Stars” a surprisingly explicit song about the day Elvis died.  The other track that stands out is “Love is the Subject” which has a harder more abrupt sound that is actually a bit premature for that style and sounds quite funky for this album.

Lyrically, the cleverest song (and one that seems to foreshadow their future songs is “Domesticated Blind” “Making babies, buying houses.  A French guy’s name is on our trousers.  We used to be such rabble rousers.  Before the world revolved around us; I’ve been domesticated blind”

I like this album, but I admit that it’s not the kind of disc that makes people go, “Ooh, who is this?  I want to get it!”

[READ: September 12, 2010] “Vogalooooonga”

This is the last of the Outside pieces that Tower wrote (not chronologically, just for my reading schedule).  And I’m really pleased that I saved it for last.

It does what Tower does best: tell a story while relating an event.  In fact, if he just changed a few details, this would make a great short story.

Wells and his brother have apparently been on many “assignments” together, and it transpires that when they travel together they often end up at each others throats.  So the piece opens with them agreeing to never do another story together again.  Then they get a call to go to Venice together to ride in the Vogalonga, “a 19-mile noncompetitive rowing regatta, held in late May, that promises a breathtaking tour of the old republic’s lagoon and outer islands” and that is traversed only in vehicles that can be paddled.  Wells’ brother says that they can’t pass up a trip to Venice, so he agrees to go along.

Based on the other stories that Wells has written, he is an athletic guy (and his brother is evidently bigger and stronger than he is).  Nevertheless, a 19 mile canoe trip in the canals of Venice can only lead to trouble.

And so this piece reads a bit like a David Sedaris story of familial in-fighting (although it’s a lot more manly than any of Sedaris’ pieces).  They fight from the get go (including his brother’s suggestion that they assemble their 17-foot canoe in their 10-foot hotel room.  And aggressive hilarity ensues. (more…)

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