Archive for the ‘Rod Reis’ Category

cowlSOUNDTRACK: THE VIOLET ARCHERS-Fall Nationals The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto (November 17, 2003).

veselyThe Violet Archers were (are?) a band formed by Tim Vesely, bassist for Rheostatics.  They released their first album, after the release of Rheostatics’ final album, 2067.  However, given that this show was recorded in 2003 and they talk about an album, it’s clear that Tim was writing stuff all along.

The band released two albums, which I’ve mentioned before: The End of Part One and Sunshine at Night.  They are both poppy and kind of mellow (with some noisy parts). And they are both great.

This show comes not only before the first album was released, it comes before the band even has a name.  It occurs on night 8/13 of the Rheostatics Fall Nationals 2003 at the Horsehoe.  This night was called SoloStatics Night (Martin also does a show).  The band for this set is – Yawd Sylvester (guitar/keyboards), Steve Pitkin (Drums), Bass (Bass).

The show starts with “Coordinates” which “shows of Tim’s hot guitar licks.”  The heavier parts rock pretty loud.  Yawd is playing some wild notes until the song smooths out some.  It also has an ending coda which not on the album.  “Life and Then” is a more upbeat song (with backing vocals).

Tim explains that the name of “The End of Part One” was inspired by his daughter’s speaking part on Harmelodia (she says end of Part 1).  For this song, Yawd plays keyboards.  Then Tim thanks Yawd for wearing pants tonight.  And thanks Bass for having his stomach sewed up before the gig.

“First the Wheel” is a protest song about food and war.  There’s a big guitar sound that sounds a bit more aggressive than the album.

Tim says that we (the band) don’t have a name, but this song does.  “Track Display” is a slow, mellow song with the unfortunate moment that as Tim is singing “things just sound so nice” that he hits a bad chord.  There’s some nice organ sounds and overall the song sound fine.

Some jokey band names shouted out: Marshmallow Room, Jello Enema, Submissions, Beauty Call, Beauty Kong, My Three Bearded Men, The Hairy Beards

“Saved Me” with simulated horns by Tim is quite nice.  Then Tim says the record is almost done, and it’s due out early next year.

The final song is listed as “Come the Night” but later on the record it will be call “A Rising Tide.”  I love the way the chorus turns minor and dramatic (along with Tim’s falsetto vocals).  It’s a good set and a good introduction to this band.

Amazingly, there is also video footage courtesy of Mark Sloggett can be found here.

[READ: May 25, 2015] C.O.W.L.

I saw this book at work and was quite intrigued.  I love a new graphic novel series that seems different.  And one called C.O.W.L. Chicago Organized Workers League sounded promising.

But I have to say that right off the bat I really didn’t like Rod Reis’s artistic style.  The book is set in Chicago 1962 and has a decidedly noir element.  It is translated very well by Reis’ style.  But I just don’t like it–it’s very dark and shadowy and I prefer my comics brighter.  I also found that the book looked like the it was computer designed–like the characters were cut and pasted and sometimes angled by computer–I found it a bit unsettling at times.

But I can get around that if the story is good.  And this one is.  After World War II, a group was assembled to try to bring all of the superheroes together.  It was started by The Grey Raven, Blaze and Sparrow.  They were organized by the titular labor union which also impacts other city workers.  (I love that idea).

And they were very successful.  But now, in 1962, the public is not sure what to do with C.O.W.L.  They have successfully taken down all of the supervillains, so what is their purpose?  This book collects C.O.W.L. issues 1-5. (more…)

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