Archive for the ‘Whale Music’ Category

SOUNDTRACKRHEOSTATICS-3rd Annual Green Sprouts Music Week Night 4 (Ultrasound Showbar, Toronto Ontario September 21 1995).

Darrin at Rheostatics Live added a number of new shows in the last eight months.  Like this full week of shows from the Third Green Sprouts Music Week

Fourth night of the third annual Green Sprouts Music Week held at Ultrasound Showbar September 18-23 1995. Never Forget makes its live debut and Farm Fresh and Tyler Stewart of Barenaked Ladies joins the band for Soul Glue. The 16 minute Digital Beach/Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald/You Are Very Star ending is amazing. The band also talks about “Raise A Little Elf” which would be noted on The Blue Hysteria and several other albums.

This is the first of the shows in which the audience is really obnoxious.  It gets worse later on.  I’m not sure why they get picked up so clearly on the mic, but it ruins some of the songs.

Many of the shows opens quietly, but this one opens with a raw “Feed Yourself” with some different words.  The guys are still figuring out the ending.

There’s a really noisy guy who shouts “sit down!” [This is a big thing tonight].  Tim: I’m not getting involved in that.

They play “All the Same Eyes” which I wouldn’t call the most rocking song in their catalog, but Martin says “we’re not normally this rock n rolly.”  Dave: Only on Thursday.  Only on St. Swithin’s day.  Only on my grandpa’s birthday.

They play “an old song,” it’s “Fishtailin'” and the crowd is stupidly loud during the quiet parts.

Up next is “Four Little Songs.”  There’s a long intro, but they get it right.  During Dave’s part he asks them to play the intro twice and he says Bono’s (?) kitchen.  But by the end, they can’t get the counting part right so they ask the audience to help and they do great.

These songs are “aged like sharp cheese which is what Rheostatics means in Latin.”

Dave finally addresses the shouters: you’re not gonna shout out sit down still are you?  They’re obviously not going to sit down and stuff.  Don: They’re talking to you, Dave, they want you to sit down.

Dave says his “day band” The Medicores” playing tomorrow at Lee’s Palace.  It’s a food bank benefit  Don will be at a benefit on Sunday with the coolest band in the area, Don’t Talk, Dance (a group with Tyler Stewart and others).

Last night was a weird night–felt the ghost of Trooper.  We even broke into “Raise a Little Elf.”  The story behind that is that when Andrew was very young he thought that the Trooper song “Raise a Little Hell” was “raise a little elf.”  He didn’t find out until …1992!  So naive.  He’s Mennonite.  Mennonites believe in elves.

Up next is Tim’s new song “Connecting Flights,” which Martin says is called “Two Flights of Stairs.”

You hear the guy shout “sit down asshole.” Thankfully before the song starts.

Presumably to damp down the jerks, they play their happy theme song (“Introducing Happiness”).  He says they plan to play it at the Grey Cup and the Governor Generals Inauguration (cheers). You like the Governor General? Weird crowd.

Up next is “Claire,” the only time they played it this week.  This time it features a guitar “duel” between Martin and Tim.  Tim obviously loses.  he even messes up his simple part and has to play it twice.  Dave says that the song is from the movie Whale Music which is coming out in the States on October 6 at a place in Santa Monica.

Next up is a brand new, never performed song sung by Don kerr called “Never Forget.”  There’s so much talking during it I can’t believe it.

Dave tells a funny, lengthy story about riding his bike and getting honked at by girls in a van.  He tells them Mississauga’s that way (a burn on Don Kerr).  The punch line is them telling him to “go back to England.”  You know what happens when Italians are mistaken for English….

Don says that if you’re riding a bike in Mississauga, you’ve got to  watch for people in vans with baseball bats.  Their TVs break and they have nothing to do.

A great sounding “Fat” has a rocking ending (Dave reveals that the gum that’s tough to chew was Dubble Bubble).  Farm Fresh gets the shout out in “Fan Letter” And then Martin introduces the next song which is “about working in a gas station.”  Dave: It’s not the ‘Summer of ’69’ is it?  But seriously, who talks through “Self Service Gas Station?”

Then there is clapping for the “contest winner.”  The “play drums on your birthday with the Rheostatics” contest.  It’s Tyler Stewart.  Give him a shot at the big time.

Dave asks about an “eat Kraft dinner with BNL contest” in which the bnl were too busy to eat with th eguys and so there were cardboard cutouts.  Tyler: is that some sorta CHOP?

They got to eat with Tyler’s double: Tarzan Dan.
Tim’s double is Henry Rollins
Dave’s double is Telly Savalas
Martin’s double is Starsky Michael Paul Glaser
Don’s double (courtesy of Janet Morassutti) Richard Manual from The Band.
The guitar tech’s double is William Baldwin–at least you didn’t say Ed Begley, Jnr.

Tyler plays a beat for Farm Fresh.  It’s a wild introduction to “Soul Glue.”  There’s so much cursing!  Whaddya think of Farm Fresh/Rheostatics/Barenaked Ladies  “They suck!”  Tyler also does a rap and then describes “Soul Glue” as a “song about LSD.”  It’s a bit slower, but sounds cool.  When Tim sings the “reapt that mistake” Tyler shots “sorry!” and after the “in the ground” Tyler adds “in the ground, in the ground, in the muthafuckin ground.”

Dave encourages everyone to join the Green Sprouts Music Club if you can.

The encore is “Digital Beach.”  There’s some shushing as Martin starts.  It segues into a slow, powerful “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”  The song is fantastic–the loud parts are really overwhelming. Then as the song ends and Tim reprises the slow part some some jackass shouts out “Gordon Lightfoot!” which totally ruins the moment.  Jesus.  Dave threw in an “I wish I was back home in Derry” which I thought was something he did much later.

After atmospheric jamming at the end of the song, it ends with a lovely (uninterrupted) “You Are Very Star.”

I hate that these drunken people can ruin quiet moments because otherwise this show is fantastic.

[READ: February 20, 2021] School for Extraterrestrial Girls

The title of this book sounded pretty good and when I saw that it was written by Jeremy Whitley who did the wonderful Princeless I was ready to read it.  I don’t know Jamie Noguchi but he has illustrated Erfworld.

Princeless was a YA book and this series is aimed a little younger.  It starts with Tara Smith, a normal girl going to a normal school.  Well, not that normal.  She doesn’t really have any friends. She just puts her head down and gets good grades.  Her parents are pretty intense.  And they are very busy.  So much so that she never really sees them in the morning.  They give her her daily meds (she has serious allergies) and trust that she will catch the bus (which she always does).

When she gets home they go over her homework, make her do everything that she got wrong over and over again and then tell her to study for tomorrow.   The only free time she has is when she takes out the garbage.

Then one morning she wakes up late. A power failure has messed up her alarm.  In her haste to get to school, she drops her meds and breaks a special bracelet that her parents gave her.  Today she can’t take the mean kids on the bus.  She yells at them and her eyes glow red, which gets everyone to back up.  Later in class, as she is writing on the board, her hand catches fire.  And then her whole body does. (more…)

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The Rheostatics are from Etobicoke Canada.  Their second album was called Melville (named after a town in Saskatchewan, but it has a whale on the cover so…).  Their third album (this one) is called Whale Music (inspired by the novel by Paul Quarrington).  When they made a film of Whale Music, the Rheostatics were asked to make the soundtrack for it, which they released as Whale Music.  So, the band have 2 albums called Whale Music and one called Melville.  Perfect soundtrack to Moby-Dick.

The album is chock full of all kinds of music: country tracks, folky tracks, metal tracks, and hooks galore.  And it’s all wrapped up in the oddity that is the Rheostatics.  This album features guest spots by the Barenaked Ladies and Neil Peart as well as horns, strings, spoken word parts, and “power tools”.

“Self Serve Gas Station” is a great opening.  It begins with swirling guitars and a beautiful solo (Rheostatics guitar lines sound so elemental as to seem like they’ve always been around).  But just as the vocals begin, the song becomes a sort of country track: a folkie song about adolescnece.  But it returns to a good rocking (and falsetto fueled) rock track.

“California Dreamline” is a wonderfully weird track, with more gorgeous guitar melodies.  It also has a disjointed section with squealing guitars.   While “Rain, Rain, Rain” opens with a lengthy percussion section (played by Neil Peart of Rush) with a weird time signature.  It’s a fun singalong.  “Queer” meanwhile has some great chugga guitars that turn into a rocking tale of an ostracized brother (and features the great line: “But I wish you were there to see it/When I scored a hat-trick on the team/That called you a fucking queer.”

“King of the Past” is another great track, with a wondrous string sound near the end.  It’s a gorgeous song with (again) different sections conveying shanties and jigs (and you can dance to it).  Like Moby from last week, Rheostatics, also bust out a fast metal track, but this one works well: “RDA (Rock Death America)” has a major hook and name checks everyone from The Beatles to The Replacements.

“Legal Age Life at Variety Store” is a great folky singalong (and features the piercing harmonies of Martin Tielli).  “What’s Going On Around Here?” is the most traditional song of the bunch, a poppy little ditty which avoids complacency with a rocking coda.

“Shaved Head” is a moody piece, wonderful for its roller coaster sensibilities, which is followed by the beautiful Tim Vesely sung ballad “Palomar.”  This track is followed by the humorous (but serious) shouted-word piece “Guns” which also features Neil Peart.

“Sickening Song” is an accordion based shanty song.  Followed by another pretty, poppy-sounding track, “Soul Glue.”  Drummer Dave Clark sings “Beerbash,” an upbeat song.  And tye final track is the epic, “Dope Fiends and Boozehounds.”  It opens with a beautiful acoustic intro and a wonderfully catchy wheedling guitar solo.  It ends delightfully: “Where the dope fiends laugh And say it’s too soon, They all go home and listen to
The Dark Side of the Moon.”

I had been listening to the band live a lot recently, and they play these songs a lot.  So it was quite a treat to go back and hear the original with all its full instrumentation.

[READ: Week of June 14, 2010] Moby-Dick [Chapters 62-86]

I never thought I’d ever say this, but I really enjoyed Moby-Dick this week.  So far, these twentysome chapters have been my favorite (even the gruesome whale sections), there weren’t any chapters that I thought really dragged.  So, good for me!

This week’s read begins with Ishmael stating that harpooners should not have to paddle and then be expected to harpoon as well.  They should save their strength for that last, all important act.  And that seems logical to me, although one also expects that the harpooners would feel kind of bad while everyone else is paddling. (more…)

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