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Archive for the ‘Toad the Wet Sprocket’ Category

[POSTPONED: July 14, 2020] Barenaked Ladies / Toad the Wet Sprocket / Gin Blossoms [moved to July 13, 2021]

indexI have seen Barenaked Ladies almost more than any other band.  I’ve seen them from way back in the early days to a few times in the last few years.  They are reliably solid live (if not a bit predictable with their setlists).

We didn’t see them for last year’s “Last Summer on Earth” tour.  They have been using that name for the last several years, it may be time to think of a new name, especially given the current state of the world.  I wasn’t planning on going to this show mostly because I don’t really like the opening acts.  And, honestly, unless the show was something special and different, it would entirely depend on the opening acts whether I went or not. Maybe they’ll mix them up for next year.

Toad the Wet Sprocket got their name from a Monty Python skit which immediately made me like them.  I think I ha a cassette of their first album, maybe.  I haven’t really thought of them in years and remember them being kind of inoffensive.  Oh, wait, they had a pretty big hit with “All I Want,” a sweet slightly alt folk rock song.  I’ll bet there would be lots of lighters up for that song.

I really hated Gin Blossoms back in the 90s.  They were so overplayed and hardly qualified as alternative or college rock, but they were lumped in that category.  They had a number of songs that I probably know all the words to even though I never listened to them on purpose.

With a lineup change I’d consider seeing them next summer, especially if they changed the name of the tour.

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[ATTENDED: November 22, 2015] Art of Time Ensemble

aotWhen I saw that the Art of Time Ensemble was coming to RVCC I was crazy excited.  Especially when I saw that Steven Page and Craig Northey would be singing with them.  I didn’t even care what it was they were doing, but when I saw that they’d be playing Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, I immediately got seats (3rd row!) and then tried to explain to Sarah what we’d be seeing.

The Art of Time Ensemble does many things although my exposure to them is through their string performances of rock songs

Led by Artistic Director Andrew Burashko, Art of Time Ensemble transforms the way you experience music. Fusing high art and popular culture in concerts that juxtapose the best of each genre, Art of Time entertains as it enlightens, revealing the universal qualities that lie at the heart of all great music.

This show was a string and brass (and piano, guitar, drum and possibly sitar) version of the classic Beatles album.  But it was more than just a symphonic version of the record.  The Art of Time Ensemble created new arrangements of the songs.  There were enough changes that it wasn’t always evident what song was being played–even though they played the album start to finish. (more…)

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june23SOUNDTRACK: MONTY PYTHON-“Rock Notes” (1980).

mpThis skit (more of a monologue) comes from Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album, the first Python album I ever bought.  It’s not my favorite bit from them, but it’s short and wedged in the middle of the rest of the album which means that I know it by heart.  Now, the skit is most famous for naming Toad the Wet Sprocket (Eric Idle says he tried to come up with the most absurd name he could think of and there it was).  The band featured Flamboyant Ambidextrous Rex who fell off the back of a motorcycle.

What I tend to forget is that the rest of the joke is all about one band Dead Monkeys who have just broken up again.  They were together for ten years, but for nine of those years the band had other names.  Primarily, the names are fishy: Dead Salmon, Trout, Poached Trout in a White Wine Sauce, Dead Herring.  Then they ditched the fishy references for Dead Loss, Heads Together, Dead Together and ultimately Helen Shapiro.

This extended riff is rather silly and I’m not even sure it’s appropriate for a joke on bands.  I can’t think of many bands who have broken up and reformed under new names (I mean, yes, there’s a couple, but not enough to warrant this extended joke).

And yet, I still remember the joke, so it must be something, right?

What do I think of Dead Duck? or Lobster?

[READ: September 16, 2014] “Liner Notes”

This Shouts & Murmurs piece begins so strongly that I was super excited to read it.  Saunders riffs on liner notes in albums, specifically failed albums.  His liner notes are for the album 2776: A Musical Journey Through America’s Past, Present & Future which is just another attempt to “engage with the vast sweep of American history” via the musical epic.

The best joke is citing Meat Loaf’s “Ben Franklin Makes Love in a Foggy Grove of Trees” (which failed to translate to live performance).  [I would totally listen to that song].  He then talks about a Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber production of “Johnny Tremain” which was too intellectual for a nineteen-seventies audience.  But I feel like Saunders goes off track when, instead of staying with the slightly absurd realism, he jumps the shark by saying that the songs were too risqué “for a staid culture that, at that time, still believed that babies came when you left a pastel turtleneck rolled up in a wad overnight.”  It broke me right out of the exaggerated realism into the realm of outrageous farce.

Which is a shame because returning to real artists like Tom Waits making a biography of Jesse James called “A White-Trash Rambling Christ Figure Just Shot Your Brother, Amigo” is pretty darn funny. (more…)

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