Archive for the ‘Mott the Hoople’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS–Humanities Theatre Waterloo ON (January 24, 1997).

Just as I was finishing up all of the newest live Rheostatics recordings, Daron posted a dozen or so more.

This is a pretty awesome soundboard recorded show just following the Rheos tour with The Tragically Hip and about 4 months after the release of The Blue Hysteria. One of the best versions of A Mid Winter Night’s Dream I’ve ever heard. As you can see on the DAT it used to be called Winter’s Tale. People From Earth opened the show. NB both First Rock Concert and RBC are incomplete recordings.

People from Earth opened.

After listening to all of those new recordings, it’s fun to go back to 1997 before they had broken up, while they were touring The Blue Hysteria.  It’s also a little surreal to not really hear the crowd (because this is a soundboard).

This recording is 90 minutes (which means either they were playing shorter shows back then or a lot of it was cut off (which seem more likely).

Martin sounds great, playing a rather slow and hushed version of “California Dreamline.”  I like the way the washes of guitar noise segue in to the acoustic guitar of “Claire.”  Throughout the show I couldn’t help noticing how young Tim sounds (far more so than the other guys).

After a trippy “Digital Beach,” they segue into “Earth/Monstrous Hummingbirds.”  It’s one of their weirder songs with lots of different parts.  It sounds great–certainly a peak time for this kind of song.

There’s a fun boppy version of “Introducing Happiness”–Tim seems to be having a lot of fun with the song.

Dave Bidini says that last night, Martin talked the longest on stage ever in his life before introducing this next song.  “You probably read about it on the internet or something.”  Martin says, “I enjoyed it so much I can’t do it tonight.”  He says that the recording of “Motorino” features the host of channel 47 show Jump cut for young Italian Canadians.  That’s Felicia.  She spoke (rapidly) in Italian for the record.

It’s interesting that this is the first song they’re playing off of the new album and they don’t mention it as such.

“Four Little Songs” is still new so they don;t get too crazy with it, although Martin has fun singing his part.   Dave would like to dedicate his fourth little song to our backdrop the newest member of the Rheostatics.  It’s the angry chickadee or two fish kissing.  Dave asks Tim, “who would win in a fight?  Angry Chickadee or Monstrous Hummingbird?”  Tim: “How big is monstrous?”  Martin: “Like Mothra.”

After not playing anything from Blue Hysteria, the play six new songs in a row.  Martin introduces “Sweet Rich Beautiful Mine” as a song “about trying to help someone that you’re in love with….stop killing themselves.  Sorry.”  It’s wonderfully intense and the harmonies are outstanding.  The sound of the guitar taking off half way through is tremendous and Martin hitting those falsetto notes gives me goose bumps.

“Fat” “is as song about having a best friend” (Dave says). It opens with a great slinky bass and Martin saying more drama on the lights–get rid of those white ones.   More great backing vocals from Martin.  It’s followed by Tim’s delicate “An Offer.”  Tim;s voice seems to be much higher than in 2017.

The band loves talking about playing in Kitchener (they are still doing it in 2017).  In 1982/1983 they played there at the Kent Hotel which was a strip joint.

“A Midwinter Nights Dream” is an absolutely stunning flawless performance.  The crowd is great, the band is on fire and it sounds amazing.  This has become one of my favorite Rheos songs and I love hearing it live (even if Dave doesn’t know what it’s called).

This song “Bad Time to Be Poor” is getting played on rock n’ roll radio (but it’s not its commercial radio).   We get invited to radio stations named after animals: The Bear, The Lizard, The Fox, The Marmot (that’s in St. John).  Now we’re getting a lot of guys dressed in denim coming to our shows.  So we’re broadening our horizons.   If someone sparks up a joint, don’t blame the song, blame commercial radio.

There is a rocking and fun “Dope Fiends” to end the set.

They come back for the encore and this recording cuts off the opening of “My First Rock Concert.”  But Dave has fun explaining a lyric.  When his friend was “on his back” it was a popular dance of the time called the worm.  Then they talk about people swan diving to them when they get famous.

The recording ends with “Record Body Count.”  It ends early, but has a nice fade at least.

This is, indeed a great show.

[READ: December 2018] Let’s Start a Riot

I just have to look at Bruce McCulloch on the cover of this book and it makes me laugh.  McCulloch has played some of my favorite characters on Kids in the Hall (although I could never pick a favorite).  But he is especially good at being an asshole.   A very funny asshole.

And what better sums up Bruce than this:

Ever feel like you were once young and cool and then you woke up in the middle of your life, emptying the dishwasher?

What could this book be about (and how did I not even hear of it when it came out?).  Well the answer to the first question is in the subtitle.  There’s no answer for the second one.  But there is an introduction to the book by Paul Feig (which has nothing to do with either of these questions).

Bruce says he always dreamed of writing a book.  “One day.  When I was old.  Luckily, and unluckily, that day had come.”  When he told his family his wife and children Roscoe and Heidi (five and seven, he thinks), they wonder what he’ll write about.  He tells them that he will write about how he was once a young angry punk who crawled out of a crappy family, had this silly show on TV then somehow became a happy man with a pretty good family.  “Why would anyone want to read that?” Heidi asks. (more…)

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ny2916SOUNDTRACK: JUNO Soundtrack (2007).

junoLate on the bandwagon with this soundtrack.  But then, I only really watch movies on TV these days, so I’m often late to the bandwagon.

Anyhow, this soundtrack was a darling in the alternative universe, and with good reason.  It’s a charming collection of mellow rockers, and it suits the film quite well.

The main artist here is Kimya Dawson, formerly of the Moldy Peaches.  She contributes six solo tracks and one song with the Moldy Peaches.  Kimya’s solo work is very lo-fi, it sounds like she’s singing in her bedroom.  Her voice has a tone that she doesn’t care if she’s in tune, and yet she always is.  There’s usually some kind of multi-tracking on each song (backing vocals or some such) that belie the lo-fi-ness of the songs, and yet they all sound like they were done in her bedroom.  Her lyrics are either overtly political or broken hearted/relationshippy.  Since those were pretty much the only songs i didn’t already know, I was a little unsure about them at first, but I have grown to like them.

The rest of the disc comprised a great line-up of previously released songs: The Kinks: “A Well Respected Man” (this also sets the tone for the record); 2 Belle and Sebastian songs; Mott the Hoople: “All the Young Dudes” (probably my favorite song by a band that I don’t think I’ve ever heard another of their songs);  The Velvet Underground: “I’m sticking with You” (the least representative song of a band ever…it’s charming and cute).  And, what you would think would blow the tone of the album: a song by Sonic Youth.  And yet that song is a cover of the Carpenters’ “Superstar.” It’s one of their mellowest songs and one of my favorite cover tracks ever.  The effects they wrangle out of their instruments are great, the tone is amazing, and it even got me to investigate the Carpenters further.

Chances are if you like any of this music, you own most of these songs, but it’s still a great collection of, dare I say it, twee folk rock songs.

[READ: March 4, 2009] “The Invasion from Outer Space”

This was a very short (one and a half pages) story.  It begins with everyone watching the skies in anticipation of an imminent invasion from outer space.  The anticipation builds as they see lights in the sky.  And then a fine yellow powder is dropped all over the earth.

The yellow powder  is the extent of the invasion and the townspeople feel somewhat disappointed that the invasion wasn’t more dramatic.  That gives away a bit of the story, but really it’s the details that make it rewarding.  I rather enjoyed this one.

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ny32SOUNDTRACK: SUPERGRASS-Diamond Hoo Ha (2008).

diamondI’ve enjoyed Supergrass since they were young whipper-snappers on their first album I Should Coco.  It was a mix of fast catchy pop about being young and foolish.   I was even more impressed with the expanded sounds on their follow-up In It for the Money.

Their last few albums haven’t excited me as much, (hard to believe they’ve only released six) but I heard an interview with them and Matt Pinfield, and it convinced me that this one was going to be great.

I was a little disappointed at first.  The disc wasn’t quite as all over the place as Money was, in fact the first five songs were pretty straight ahead rockers (and much more rocking than their past songs would indicate).  But after listening a few times, I’ve really started to get into it.

The disc is split in half.  The first five songs are such simple, basic rockers that I was initially bored by them.  They weren’t bad per se, they just seemed too simple.  After several listens however, I’ve found them to be delightfully catchy, heavy pop rock gems.  And that the simplicity is deceptive.  They sound like long lost 70s riff rock highlights.  The title track with its oddball break of “Bite Me” was once played on Chuck (the latest TV show which is the arbiter of cool music).

The second half comes in with “The Return of Inspiration…” (which may not be the best song title to put halfway through your record, especially when the second half sounds so much different than the first).  This half is much more in keeping with Supergrass’ sillier side.

We get some funk charged stuff (“Rough Knuckles”) and some overt pop ala Mott the Hoople (“Ghost of a Friend”).  Outright silliness even rears its head (the opening of “Whiskey and Green Tea” is a march/chant complete with crazy horns), which morphs into a solid rocker).

Because their first two albums are so great, I’m not sure I can really compare this to them, but Diamond Hoo Ha has many great, fun moments; it is definitely a high point of their catalog.

[READ: March4, 2009] “Brother on Sunday”

I have read a number of works by A.M. Homes, and I really enjoyed her.  I haven’t seen anything by her in quite some time for whatever reason, so it was good to see her back.  Because of The End of Alice (concerning a pedophile) I think of her as being something of  a grisly/controversial writer (she is also tied somewhat to David Foster Wallace since The End of Alice and Infinite Jest were two very talked about books in 1996).  But after reading this piece and realizing that it was similar in tone/theme to her book  Music for Torching, I realized that she is more an observer of bad behavior, not just grisly behavior. (more…)

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