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  1. 6 points
    I spent many days for night travelling the US in search of the smallest, coolest club in which to see them and that I could get in to at that time (I was 16 through 18). Although The Hip didn't spend much time hanging around the clubs in the late afternoons following sound checks, The Rheostatics did and they were oh so cool and kind to us wayward hosers. There were more than a few afternoons that we hung around that old Delta 88, scarfing down the remains of the deli trays and cookie platters. I learned about life on those trips, I learned about heroes and I learned about friendship. My favourite memory of Gord is from the REM show in 1995 at the Molson Ampitheater. Long after REM had left the stage and the crowd thinned out, I was walking with my brother up through the 200s when I heard my name called out. To this day I still cannot believe that Gord had remembered me, especially amidst a crowd of 1000s, and was saying hello and introducing me to his wife and to Mike Myers (!). That was near the peak of the popularity and he had recalled my name and I will never forget that moment. Neither will my little brother who was 14 at the time. At that moment I had ascended into legendary older brother territory and he got more than a few miles out of that story over the years. This shot is from the Chameleon Club in Syracuse on Apr 27, 1995: To paraphrase the man himself: We are all richer for having known him.
  2. 5 points

    3 Day Recap of Bluesfest

    Photo Courtesy of Mark Horton and Ottawa Bluesfest Change is inevitable and one must embrace it in order to keep moving forward. Bluesfest is a prime example of that ideology. 20 years have seen the location go from Lebreton to City Hall and back to Lebreton. No longer do we have 6 stages and we are now dealing with dead air rather than sound bleed, which was the biggest issue as far as I am concerned but it’s easy to get used to. Which do you prefer? Running from stage to stage like a jack rabbit or being like a lion after a satisfying meal? Both have their positive points. Recently, people wanting to sit down in lawn chairs are cordoned off far quite a ways back and that might be the single most important aspect adding to the experience.   Purchasing a 3 day pass seemed perfect while essentially becoming a ‘buy 2 get one 1 free" deal. Capitalism begets the ideal of smart purchases and this one made sense because the Foo Fighters had a very high price point for their first show in Ottawa since 2008. They still sold out the venue which is a massive rarity.   Stepping onto the grounds it was immediately clear that security had ramped up their efforts but that is now the norm with any large collection of individuals. Go to a Sens game or any concert at the Canadian Tire Center and you will find the same thing. Long lines while bags and pockets are checked along with metal detectors. These moments are no longer a stroll in the park so planning accordingly with a schedule of the bands you want to see are of the utmost importance.   Photos Courtesy of Mark Horton and Ottawa Bluesfest The War On Drugs has been a band I have been dying to see so Friday July 6th was the first pick of the 3 days pass I held. Having missed them at Folkfest a few years ago it was an obvious choice. Their studio work is perfect, the song writing is praiseworthy and their style is comforting. The question remained; can they pull off what they do in the studio? The answer is a resounding yes. The biggest surprise was discovering that Adam Granduciel is a monster player as well as a solid front man, which ended up being a common theme amongst many of the acts gracing the stages. Much of the material in their hour long set was culled from their last two albums, Lost In The Dream and A Deeper Understanding. It’s easy to wonder what a full show from them must be like. Towards the tail end there was strong, yet intentional, feedback emanating from Adam’s guitar during Red Eyes when all of a sudden one of the stagehands let him know they only had 5 minutes left. Adam then changed guitars while stating "We were about to do Under The Pressure but we only have 5 minutes left. Here’s one that we don’t often do." They launched into Lost In The Dream which became immediately satisfying considering the expectations of what hadn't occurred.   Photo courtesy of Scott Penner and Ottawa Bluesfest After that it was time to check out St Paul and the Broken Bones on the Claridge Stage but that was an exercise in futility. The tent was packed with people spilling out every which way but loose. As wonderful as that music is there was no way it was being felt in any meaningful way. There were too many conversations with people milling about and it became a waste of time. Making way towards the Blacksheep Stage I noticed there were people all the way at the back on the top of the hill. That alone was intriguing but once crested it became obvious why so many folk were seeing this band. Brockhampton were throwing down some serious hip hop. The energy level coming from the stage was palpable in a way you can only explain if you experience it. The crowd was much younger but were hopping in unison. Music is best when there is a collection of individuals all feeling the same thing and this was it. Theoretically that is why we keep going and this proved it. At a certain point when they mellowed out for a bit, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to check out Jethro Tull. My presence didn’t last very long because I kept wondering what I was missing on the Blacksheep stage so I ended up heading back that way. They were an absolutely perfect discovery and I look forward to seeing them again in the future.   Photos Courtesy of Mark Horton and Ottawa Bluesfest The second choice of the 3 day pass was a no brainer. Being a huge fan of Dave Grohl’s song writing brought me on Tuesday July 10th and from the moment we arrived we knew we were in for a massive crowd. Getting there just after 6pm knowing there might be a lineup is one thing but getting there that early while witnessing such a sea of people is another. It was shocking. We figured out the quickest way to get in thanks to an amazing eye but things could have been so much worse. By the time we were getting scanned with metal detectors Greta Van Fleet were onstage with their heavily pulsating sound. The interest level in seeing them was quite astounding, however it was very difficult to get into their set thanks to it being so early and only an hour long. We had just enough time to get in, grab a beer, get a spot, coordinate with those coming and before we knew it the band only had 2 songs left. That was enough for us to know we will be keeping tabs on these kids. There was plenty of "Led Zeppelin-esque" talk amongst our crew with none of it being negative. They wear it like a badge of honour. At this point it was pretty much impossible to get anything from the concessions offered and if you didn’t have an insider you were going to deal with what had to be at least a 45 minute line. Thankfully the concert overlords graced our group so all we had to do was laugh at one another while waiting for the Foo Fighters. When they hit the stage they hit it running and opened with what I consider to be the best opening song almost any band does, All My Life. Learn To Fly followed and then The Pretender, which was the opener the last time the band was in town but it was time to move. By the time we found a more palpable spot, Dave Grohl had invited his daughter on stage to sing back up to The Sky Is A Neighbourhood which Is from their latest album Concrete and Gold. The singalong during My Hero was perfectly entertaining from our new vantage point. Not long after there was the inevitable drum solo. Taylor Hawkins is pretty much the human equivalent of Animal from the Muppets so it didn’t come off as incredibly cheesy but the majority of drum solos do showcase a solid level of talent. A particular section introducing the band members was really entertaining. Taylor sang Queen’s Under Pressure but the highlight had to be the Imagine/Jump mash-up. Picture the arrangement of John Lennon’s Imagine with the lyrics to Van Halen’s Jump. I couldn’t do it simply reading that line but the Foo Fighters put those puzzle pieces with perfect execution. It was musically geeky and comedic all at the same time. The rest of the show featured a few more heavy hitters like Monkey Wrench and Best Of You and shortly followed with Dirty Water from the new album. They came out for the encore and never let up, in fact one could suggest they went for it even harder and it would be hard to argue against that point. There were a couple of shout outs to Alanis Morrisette because Taylor Hawkins used to be the drummer in her band. Apparently she introduced him to Dave Grohl. You Outta Know offered a quick hello at the start of the encore followed by Big Me, Times Like These and finally Everlong. Just about as perfect as an encore one can envision. Photos Courtesy of Mark Horton and Ottawa Bluesfest Friday the 13th was the final pick of the 3 day pass and expectations were sky high. Sturgill Simpson on the City Stage followed by Beck. We got there really early again thanks to our Foo experience but this was vastly different. It felt like no one was there. You could go anywhere, order anything and be in the bathroom in a second. That’s what I always loved about Bluesfest so it was nice to feel like a return home. Having said that, it’s amazing so many people opted out of the music from this night because they opted out of a fantastic experience. The last time seeing Sturgill was during his Grammy winning Sailors Guide To Earth album tour. He had horns backing him as well as this insane lead guitar player named Laur Joamets and we wondered which band we would be seeing. Turns out it was the bass, drum and keyboard core of that band. For a brief moment I was disappointed but then a friend turned and said "Sturgill can rip it on guitar". Sure enough, that boy can play. He tore his country songs to shreds but they were no longer country. This was "the Allman Brothers minus one guitar player" as Todd put it. Strugill approaches his live songs much like Bob Dylan. If you think you only know it in one key then get ready. They will change the key and change the tempo to the point you might not know what song it is until they hit the chorus. He was destroying his Tele whenever that was in his hands and was easily the best guitar player I witnessed at Bluesfest. It’s simple to label him as a Waylon Jennings clone when you hear him sing but that is a disservice. Most of the songs came from A Sailor’s Guide To Earth and Metamodern Sounds In Country Music but there were at least a couple of songs that I had no idea whether he wrote them or covered them.   Photos Courtesy of Mark Horton and Ottawa Bluesfest Everyone enjoyed Sturgill’s set so the break was welcomed as folks discussed what had just happened while feeling excited to see Beck. We all grew up on his music and the vast majority were finally seeing him live for the first time. What was it going to sound like? That was a predominate idea but when Beck finally took the stage and opened with Devil’s Haircut the City Stage turned everything into an old school dance party. Loser followed and bodily streams started flowing perfectly, complete with a mini sing-a-long. Que Onda Guero was up next and that’s the moment when it became obvious the bass player in this band was the real deal. His tone was perfectly aligned with our favorite bass players on this website, Phil Lesh and Mike Gordon. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he played a Modulus because he was throwing fastballs with his piece of wood while also creating an earthquake. The acoustic interlude dulled a few people who wanted the dance party to keep going but it gave others a chance to catch their breath. "Beck clearly went to Prince University" so when he dropped Raspberry Beret on the crowd, complete with a glowing purple light showcase, everything was lining up and shit got lit. The rest of the set was unfamiliar to our crew but no less harmonious. Make no mistake this was a really quick set with regards to time. I think it was no longer than an hour and a half. Where It’s At brought the dancers back in full force and then segued into a band introduction. During this medley we were privy to Miss You by the Rolling Stones, Cars by Gary Numan, Once In A Lifetime by the Talking Heads and In The Air tonight by Phil Collins along with at least 1 or 2 that are forgotten. Where It’s At came back around to complete the circle.  Bluesfest was positively tremendous this year with one of the best lineups they have offered in quite some time. Local food vendors, plenty of amenities and a bevy of conscientious music lovers helped take things over the top. Experience has formed their logistical thinking and I look forward to seeing what next summer, and beyond ,has to offer.
  3. 4 points

    Joe Russo's Almost Dead

    These guys are destroying the Deads music in an amazing way right now, check them out live if you can before they aren't doing it, which I fear is soon. Watch this whole video and look for Benevento's solo and how the band hops back in, so damn fresh to my dead ears.
  4. 4 points

    In memory; Favourite Hip/Gord moments

    I was at a restaurant in downtown Kingston last June having dinner on the patio before a Bob Dylan concert at K-Rock. I knew that Rob Baker was a regular at the restaurant so it wasn't a complete shock when he walked right behind me, leaving the restaurant. It was, however, a shock to notice that Gord Downie (and Gord Sinclair) were with him. They stopped to linger on the sidewalk and Gord Downie noticed that I had noticed him. As I stared with my jaw slightly agape Gord leaned down and put his elbows on the little fence that seperated the patio from the sidewalk. He rested his chin in his hands and smiled, staring at me with a bemused look on his face. I stared and gaped, he stared and smiled. It seemed to last for thirty seconds or more. Eventually he got me: I flinched and looked away. When I looked back the three of them had set off down the sidewalk towards the Dylan show, completely unmolested by the throngs of people in the busy streets, all of whom had the respect to treat them the same as everyone else. It's a wonderful final memory to have of a man I admire so much.
  5. 4 points

    Dark Solstice Mix

    Bump! This year's cut of my Dark Solstice Mix is up. Dark Solstice Mix 2016 ~ Ghetto Grooves Hope you enjoy.
  6. 4 points

    The Chicago Thread

    Finally finding a moment to reflect on an absolutely incredible weekend... Started out with five of us driving down in my friend's VW bus (how fitting) which prooved to be a spacious and comfortable ride. The trip couldn't have been smoother in terms of border crossing and traffic and the bus behaving and staying cool. Upon arrival into Chicago mid-day Thursday we had to go to will call (because ticketmaster couldn't manage to get our tickets to us in time....ggrrrrr) and we lucked out big time. We happened to pull up as close as we could to Soldier's field and luckily for us all the fences were not up yet, will call was right there, and we were able to secure our tickets with no wait at all. I suspect those that arrived on the Friday would have had a far more difficult scenario as it seemed like you couldn't even really get access to will call unless you already had a ticket, or at the very least your confirmation in hand (credit card didn't seem to be enough) and from what I understood will call was located on the "inside". The only real, I wouldn't go so far to say "negative", but "odd" and somewhat disappointing part of the whole weekend is the set-up really precluded any kind of full fledged shakedown from springing up. I honestly thought it was going to be one of the largest shakedowns ever, but great efforts were made to co-opt that space and generate profit. I'm sure security concerns also factored in, particularly in terms of controlling the numbers that didn't have tickets, so I can understand the approach to a degree but it felt a little foreign. Basically you couldn't really get near the stadium at all without a ticket, and most of the food, merch, etc. was on the "inside". A great illustration of this would be when we decided to buy a round of grill cheese for all of our friends before the first show...and much to our surprise that bill came to more than $70!!! We are talking kraft single slices grilled cheese for like $10 a pop. Corporate shakedown? Come on now... The second day we ventured over to the lots that were some distance from the venue and even there it didn't feel like a "usual" shakedown....tailgate party perhaps, but very very little in the way of home-made merch, eats, etc. Friday night's show was by FAR the most "out there" and exploratory of the three. The crew I was with was just soaring. We were way up in the 400s and literally felt like we were sitting on top of the world up there. I thought I was going to be itching to find a way down onto the floor or pit as that is where I normally like to be, but to my pleasant surprise I absolutely loved floating amongst the cosmos up top. It was amazing to be so close to the big huge orange moon the first night (a beautiful tip of the hat complement to the Santa Clara rainbow), have a great angle on the stage and psychedelic screens and be able to see the magnitude of life surging through that entire stadium. Certainly got my exercise in schlepping up and down those stairs...I'm sure for many it was a significant challenge. Highlights for 1st set, 1st night for me was when Trey tore into Jack Straw indicating that he would be a force to reckon with from the get go, and then the Crazy Fingers into Music Never Stopped was a GREAT way to close out that set. Soaring higher higher and just when you think you can't go any higher...higher still. Set break involved roaming around in mass confusion...the crowd certainly seemed to get a better handle on navigating the place as the weekend went on. Slowest beer lines EVER! Returned to my seat quite some time before they started playing and a memorable moment was just sitting on top of the world watching the amazing imagery and old videos of the band in their own element...Casal and company's accompiniment ta boot. My favourite parts were the scuba diving footage. I had seen most of that before but it resonated so differently for me in that moment. I can't really capture or articulate fully why here, and not sure I even want to try...perhaps it was just one of those intensely profound moments that is only meant to be fleeting. Somehow intensely personal yet simultaneously collective in terms of consciousness. Scarlet Fire was dynamite and then it seemed like the Drum>Space that followed right after almost lead into a mini second set break. It wasn't a standard night by any means by my recollection. I have never paid so close attention to drum>space as I have this past weekend. And every night. The imagery combined with the crazy sounds and vibrations were just such a crazy trip. That Mickey is a full on alchemist, and it was such a pleasure to see the Rhythm Devils at work again. What a set-up!! That first night I watched Kreutzman rather intently...perhaps because I was reading his book at the time (pick it up!). He seemed to oscillate back and forth between moments of intense looking sorrow on his face to bursts of energy and knowing bliss. I felt humbled to share those moments. Perhaps it was my state of mind but all in all I felt like all the guys were working through their own psychological baggage that night, finding themselves, finding each other, finding their collective sound...the space that was explored throughout second set was a huge testament to that. I kept thinking to myself I wonder how this is coming across for those at home watching the live stream? It felt like a "you had to be there" kinda show. The departure out at the end of night one was a complete gong show. There seemed to be zero security anywhere and the throngs of people we were following out ended up having to climb a fence to get out and avoid being crushed. That was a little more excitement than I was needing at that point, but we survived, and managed to get past the nitrous web without getting sucked into that black hole. So grateful that the wigged out kid walking right through the heart of speeding traffic and drag racers didn't get killed right into front of our very eyes. I couldn't even look. Just one foot in front of the other. Had a couple night caps back at the hotel once we finally made it back and then headed off to catch the latter half of moe. who delivered a fantastic psychedelic set that helped me slowly slowly come back down to earth. All gentle like. Saturday day...little rough. Took some time to turn around. I just needed the antidote (i.e. the music) to start to get myself back into a good place. I had a sense that night 2 was going to be a WAY different experience and that the boys would come out swinging and they sure did. Shakedown! (Although admittedly I generally like to hear that later in the show). I agree Booche Liberty is an underrated song. The Standing on the Moon....brought me to full on tears. Just such as beautiful song. Anyone who has loved and missed and lost and hoped...I get choked just thinking back on it. The Tennessee Jed was dynamite and I was delighted that they chose to repeat Cumberland from Santa Clara. Set break was far less disorienting this night and the Birdsong to welcome us back was just blissful. Foolish Heart into a raw and tribal drum space with a Stella Blue on top was another huge highlight. My pit dwelling friends made the trek all the way up top to be with us for that song...no idea how they found us but that was a beautiful moment of solidarity. Then bring on the fireworks. "Fuck ya America!!" A nice display to be sure, and the background music that for me seemed to be somehwere between Gershwinesque and Disney Carousel made for an almost comical close to another fantastic night. We had the giggles. We kept it "relatively" tame post show after a nice (but a little too far for my collapsing feet) walk along the water. Sunday I managed to get up and do some yoga. Was determined to feel less leacherous than I did on Saturday throughout the day and set the tone for maximum energy exchange for the final hurrah. Ate really well that day too which was a good move. China>Rider>Estimated Prophet....woooheeee! I heard one reviewer knocking estimated and I couldn't have disagreed more. It was slow, raunchy, groovey, and twisted. It put me right in my place. Even Built to Last...that was one of the best versions I could really recall hearing, and I LOVED the whimsical layers and interplay throughout Mountains of the Moon. Cassidy, Althea, TERRAPIN were the highlights of my night. Bobby delivered a sincere and moving Days Between and the crowd was bumpin' for Not Fade Away. Attics was a beautiful closer. Perfect sentiment. Ended the night by heading back to House of Blues to catch Melvin Seals, Kimock, Jackie Green, and crew. Perfect way to wind things up and then down one more time. Managed to get a somewhat respectable amount of sleep before getting up to head home to my little boy who I was missing very much. I am so grateful that I get to experience such life altering experiences in life that make you fall in love with so much of humanity. Chicago is a beautiful inspiring city, but there were many moments that served as stark reminders of how privileged I am, how lucky we all are, and what little joy and opportunity some people have in their lives, or how little love and compassion ever get showered their way. Some of those images I will never shake. I felt it all.
  7. 4 points
    Personally, I just love The Grateful Dead. Fast, slow, in-between, happy or sad. What some corporate owned puppet journalist, haters, or even you freaks here on this forum think doesn't mean shit to me in the end, nor will anything change that for me. Love, like or hate them, there isn't, never was and never will be, anything like the Grateful Dead, and I fuckin love that. Cheers.
  8. 3 points
    jimmy skyline

    Slippery People

    Part musical concert, part dance, part performance piece, part kinetic sculpture, David Byrne's latest American Utopia Tour settled into a slightly abbreviated stop at CityFolk Festival in Ottawa. The show has been gathering an endless stream of positive reviews, and fan appreciation. Really, the reason why this seems to resonate so deeply amongst the wide-ranging demographic that makes up David Byrne fans base is a little perplexing. Minimalist in design, the performance is endlessly engaging and transforming. Within the somewhat self referential opening of the show, (so similar in idea to Stop Making Sense, with David Byrne at centre stage in bleak surroundings and alone), the audience is drawn in and seduced by the stark setting, grey leisure suit, bare feet, desk, chair and a “brain” carrying showman. David sucks you in and before you know it we are living in Dave’s Byrne Big World. With no explicit narrative, there is the thread of positivity, and hopefulness that permeates the overall exploration of design, form, and movement. The overall effect of the show is Kinetic Sculpture… using humans and the occasional simple prop, Byrne leaves enough room to transpose your imagination onto the dance and the forces that cause and create movement. The latest record, American Utopia, deeply benefits from the continued collaboration with Brian Eno, making it Byrne highest chart topping success. The time is ripe for some positivity, but American Utopia and recent projects are filtered through the eyes of the modern condition. Tracks like, “Lazy”, and “I Should Watch TV, which are both collaborations with St. Vincent, were sobering reminders of the bleak separation and general malaise that encompasses so much of our daily encounters. On stage, the band was watching a “tv” that was simply a beam of light glowing off of the hanging chain link strands that boxed in the stage’s back and sides. David Byrne rolls up his sleeves, miming shooting up, and sings “touch me, and feel my pain”, suggesting that the drugging of our nation is a response to the alienation from the advent of technology, and an environment where we can be instantly be connected to each other, but still suffer the painful isolation and solitariness of being lost in society. The idea of “Utopia” is not a delusional pipe dream, but one tempered by an understanding that it is an ongoing struggle, and that it is a work in progress. It is often overlooked that “Utopia” is part of a larger project that David Byrne is engaged in. The project, which borrows a title from Ian Dury and the Blockhead’s song “Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 3”, which ironically was written in the U.K. during the Margret Thatcher years. Within the context of this bigger project David Byrne ’s “Reasons to Be Cheerful”, looks at the complexities of the urban environment, and the subtle but transformative cues, like the changing impact of increased bicycle use on our daily life, our outlook, our habits, and the environment. Byrne is looking at the ways to change our perspectives by engaging with the world in more direct and meaningful ways. The bombardment of images and messages that promote fear and dread, largely propagated by media, corporations and the government, is what the authorities want you to feel. This is part of a “Hegelian dialect”, that keep the power structures oppressing individuals in society, and allow the exploitation of those individuals at the same time. “They” want you to live in fear, keep you at bay and use this as leverage for policies and attacks on freedoms and liberties. The “Reasons to Be Cheerful” project, is a plea to turn off the fear mongering media messages, and re-engage in your community, make real human connections and participate in civic issues. In other words, he is hoping that people simply get involved in a direct and meaningful way to make the world a better place, no matter how small the contribution may seem. Walk to the store instead of driving, bike more, grow your own food, and to be really subversive, smile more. Yes, smile more, and if you do, you may soon notice, people will smile back. All of this is a subtext to a performance which is at its core is a celebration of joy, music, and movement. The fluidity of the dance, the freedom of the musicians to move freely, the stripped-down aesthetic gives a lot of opportunity for the audience to celebrate alongside. The entry point into the performance is easy, nothing really stands between the performer and audience, and this transforms the event into a giant kinetic experience. The energy of the dance was infectious for the audience at CityFolk. With the side screens that usually give the back 40 a good close up of the performance, were black. The only way to experience the show was by directly watching it. There was no way to filter the experience through another medium. The stage design was as striking from the dead centre 30 feet out, as it was from the back of the Great Lawn. The stage glowed with a shimmering intensity, the dancing so bold and engaging that no matter where you stood, you were in on the action. Of course, it was the music that propelled the dance, and the Ottawa crowd dropped it usual conservatism and boogied right along. There were more balls out dancing then I have ever seen at an Ottawa show. It was very heartening to be in the middle of this energy, and be able to dance with abandon at the foot of the master of polyrhythmic cross-cultural musical mayhem. I have seen David Byrne perform over the years, including the small understated tour that he did after the St. Vincent collaboration. On that tour, he played mostly his back catalogue of Talking Heads material. Although this tour was incredibly satisfying, in all sincerity, Ottawa shock their collective money maker just like I remembered at “The Remain In Light Tour” of 1981. This was a watershed moment for me, at only 14 years of age, (with The English Beat as an opener), my life was transformed. I danced for the first time that night. And I mean really danced. With abandon. Forgetting time and space, and dissolving into rhythm and movement. Pure joy. Pure celebration. And smiles. Lots of smiles. Just like Ottawa. Two songs were dropped from the set list that has been commonly played on this tour. Both “Bullet, and the unrecorded live song, “Dancing Together”, were dropped from previous shows. A slightly different song order was also an unusual feature of this rare outdoor festival performance. Most venues have been sit-down theatres, like the two summer shows in Toronto, at the Sony Centre. So, it was very heartening to see Ottawa take advantage of the setting, and cut a deep rug on The Great Lawn. The bulk of the set list was from “American Utopia”, and smatterings of the Talking Heads back catalogue. A little less then half the show saw a survey of some of the Talking Heads best material, and there was a lovely shout out to David Byrne's many collaborations with a light-hearted Fatboy Slim (The Brighton Port Authority) number called “Toe Jam”. Deep tracks like “I Zimba”, “Once in a Lifetime”, and the “Great Curve”, had the most resonance with the audience. I suspect, as was the case with me, that the older Talking Heads pieces transported us back to our youth and the start of our musical awakenings. I heard many a side conversation re telling which album and at what age people discovered the Talking Heads. From “77”, through to “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts”, to the underrated last record “Naked”, everyone seemed to hold high reverence to their David Byrne initiation. Now, I’m a realist, and not someone prone to using my rose coloured glasses to view my past. As awe-inspiring as this tour is, I can not shake the idea of how notoriously difficult David Byrne is to work with. Often, and especially for this incredibly intricate performance, David Byrne gets a pass on his curmudgeon demeanor. I suspect that as free-flowing and celebratory as the performance appeared, there is an iron hand driving the performance and its aesthetics. Initially, the “American Utopia” tour was booked into several venues and then canceled… Burlington and Montreal come to mind. It is my understanding that the stage set up did not meet David Byrne's minimal requirements, leaving several cities out of the mix. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, it is his tour, and his vision, and a fine one at that. One opinion that i seemed to share with only myself, was that the band was not near as powerful as “The Remain in Light” band that had Adrian Belew, and Busta Jones and, well everyone really… in the shadows of my mind, this band was different than the Talking Heads. I would like to think that comes down to ownership… the fellow founding members of the Talking Heads, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth owned the material, shaped it and created it. When the original Talking Heads played, they were nothing short of dangerous, and provocative. They were a machine with many moving parts, that sometimes felt like they would implode, but rarely did. The “American Utopia” band felt like they were hitting their cues, and marks, but not free enough to soar above the clouds. Wonderful they were, and I appreciate that this is at best nitpicking, but 1981 this wasn’t. What we did get was a peek into the future of stage performance. With the advent of technology freeing our collective constraints, this novel approach to an unfettered musical experience will become more common, and perhaps even the norm in a few years. Bravo to David Byrne for using a minimalist approach to high light the physical freedom and collective dynamic energy to bring a joyful celebration of music, dance and performance art to the wonderment of all in attendance. This was a real coup for CityFolk and a very high water mark for next years performers. Set List David Byrne September 14, 2018, CityFolk The Great Lawn Landsdowne Park Ottawa Here Lazy I Zimbra (Talking Heads song) Slippery People (Talking Heads song) I Should Watch TV (David Byrne & St. Vincent cover) Dog's Mind Everybody's Coming to My House This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) (Talking Heads song) Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads song) Doing the Right Thing Toe Jam (Brighton Port Authority cover) Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) (Talking Heads song) I Dance Like This Every Day Is a Miracle Like Humans Do Blind (Talking Heads song) The Great Curve (Talking Heads song) Burning Down the House (Talking Heads song) Hell You Talmbout (Janelle Monáe cover) (with Merrill Garbus) (also with Ani DiFranco) If you want to explore more about the Talking Heads, David Byrne and the Reasons to be Cheerful movement, check out the links below. Well worth your time. Now smile, dammit. An Introduction to The Talking Heads Well How Did We Get Here? A Brief History of Talking Heads An Audience Video of the American Utopia Tour (complete performance) Reasons to be Cheerful Lecture/Talk by David Byrne David Byrne - Reasons To Be Cheerful talk - Jan. 8, 2018
  9. 3 points
    Alison Krauss packed Marion Dewar Plaza with the most attentive crowd I've seen in recent memory. Though a little bit quiet through the main speakers, and muddled by wine-tent yakking, the audience tried their best to catch every breath and fiddle twiddle the songstress shared. Her band was comprised of Nashville magicians, softly singly sweet songs of love and sorrow in unmatched harmony. You know music is working when you are truly taken away- and at moments during this set I found myself exploring deep recesses of my mind, just freely wondering... Where will it all go? (I'm not sure) - Is Mr. Dress Up still alive? (no- Ernie Coombs died in 2001, I Googled it) - Should I be trying to write fiction so there is no accountability? (Probably). It was a lovely set, and definitely primed me for the jaw-dropper to come. Tartan stage hosted The Jerry Douglas Band, in what can only be described as a close encounter of the 4th kind, the Jazz-Grassian kind. There was a power and energy on that small stage which is not often available to mankind- it was almost divine, or maybe alien. Spacey, exploratory and dense music danced into our hearts with grace and precision. The combination of tenure, experience, confidence, and genuine delight in music-making seduced revellers to the point of ecstatic convulsion (That is just how I dance, Ronny!). Jerry looked like a mature southern ranch owner, with a twinkle in eye and a knowing flash in his toothy grin. He's the uncle we all wish we had, with his perfect leather boots and winky smarm. He could be a character in a Quentin Tarantino movie, played by Don Johnson, or Jeff Bridges. Jerry earns his reputation, and as 'the best dobro player in the world' it comes as no surprise that Jerry would have the best Nashville hot-shot soon to be elites in his band, and he gave them all an opportunity to strut their stuff. They collectively sashayed the audience through a mesmerizing 90 minute masterclass in musicianship, style and excitement. With some of the most riveting interplay and compositional creativity I've enjoyed in a long time. All members were off the charts, but guitar player Mike Seal was a show-stopper, calmly picklessly picking his matte Ibanez like a modern Roy Buchanan with something to prove. His speed and tasteful layering often brought Jerry to smile, and their mutual grins were exceptionally cute, and kind of heartwarming. I guess, I'll include my phone note: It was like Zappa was arranging for Garcia and Rice. Departing on my bicycle with a strong soberish music high- the world seemed just a little more beautiful.
  10. 3 points

    Dark Solstice Mix

    Hey Folks, It's that time of year again, in keeping with traditions and because I know some folks here are interested, I bring you another Dark Solstice mix. Dark Solstice Mix 2015 ~ The Funk Awakens www.darksolsticemix.com The usual blend of nonsensical ecclectic and groovy tunes. Listener Discretion Required... Happy Solstice Everyone!
  11. 3 points

    "They're not Phish, are they?"

    That's what the guy said. He was standing a few feet away from me on the bus, and he had a Phil and Friends t-shirt on. I had a Phish t-shirt on, and we made eye/t-shirt contact, recognizing the common ground we had both tread on. The "they" he was referring to was the Dave Matthews Band, and we were on our way back from seeing them at the Corel Centre. "No, they're not," I replied. "Well, if you like Phish, you have to check out 'nero'," he said. That was the second time I'd heard that band's name that day; earlier, I'd had a reply from a guy I had e-mailed, who was looking for people to fill out a jamband he was forming. He didn't need a guitar player, but told me to check out 'nero' if I liked jammy guitar stuff. "They're playing downtown tonight. You should come out," my bus-buddy said. OK, I took the twice-hearing-of-a-band-I-didn't-know-in-one-day as a Sign, and went along. It was a tiny, upstairs bar, and the decor was more like a biker hangout than a Nice Place. There was a stage over in the corner, with a trio of musicians' gear on. The band started playing, and I was hooked. Walls of emotion-filled music wafted over me, wrapped around me, and then went through me. I don't think I'd ever been that close to something like that. Time passed, and the band finished. Being a guitar player and a gearhead, I noticed something unusual: the guitarist's amp. "Hi, I'm Brad," I introduced myself. "Hi, I'm Dave," he replied. "What model of Dr. Z is that?" I asked. "Wow...most people don't know it's not a Zenith..." Can you say "fast friends"? I thought you could... Can you remember where you were or what you doing three years ago? I can: all of the all of the above happened on Tuesday, August 7, 2001, three years ago, today. I walked away from the bar, The Whipping Post, with a couple of things: knowledge of a new (to me) band I liked a lot, a website to go to (then called The Phish Sanctuary), and a couple of new friends, including the guy I talked to him on the bus: Davey Boy. I had spent most of the '90s living a quiet life. I might go to a show or two, but hardly ever a club; I didn't know many bands, and had a pretty small circle of friends. Some of my "hibernation" was due to a hangover from a pretty tough few years at school, but a lot of it was, I think, shyness, and the paralysis induced by a feeling of safety. Since then, well, words almost fail me. I've made more friends, seen more shows (125 days with shows in 2003, alone), and done more in the past three years than I'd done in the ten years before. I don't amalgate well (there's a certain bit of loner in my psyche), but this community has, without thinking, I believe, it's just the way it works, welcomed me, and allowed me to grow and do what I can and be what I am (and have become). It's given me so much, and allowed me to give back so much, that, I can't (and don't want to) imagine what my life would be (and would have been) without all of it. Bring on the next three years! (Well, after I get through celebrating the anniversary at GTB tonight. : {{{{{{{{{all of you}}}}}}}}} Aloha, BRAD (Been Reminiscing About Daves)
  12. 3 points
    Here's my Gord story: In Sept 2009 the Hip did a theater tour, and played 3 nights in Ottawa at the venerable National Arts Center. I went the 3rd night, we had pretty good seats in the 6th or 7th row, dead center. It was awesome. The performance of "Scared" gave me the music shivers! I'd seen the Hip many times before but this was the first time I realized that Gord was acting out the song's lyrics with his facial expressions. It was brilliant. During "Blow at High Dough" Gord came out into the crowd, walking on the backs of the seats. He stopped right beside me, put his hand on my shoulder to support himself, and stuck the microphone in my face so I could sing a line. I shouted "Blow at High Dough" as best I could. I think I was in key. He was sweating profusely, and much of his sweat ended up on my shoulder and head. I didn't wash for a few days!
  13. 3 points

    In memory; Favourite Hip/Gord moments

    Didn't realize it at the time it would be such a great memory, but seeing them on Canada day 89 in a park in London, ON. There was about 50 people hanging around, though the videos circulating appear to show even less. That was the first time I saw the Hip I believe. Another Roadside Atrraction Markham, 93. My girlfriend and I got mistaken for other people (I think it was her moreso than me) by someone on MIdnight OIls crew and were invited back stage, by the time it was realized we weren't the right folks, we were told, "well, your here now, enjoy the show" The Hip came on about 15 minutes or so later. Watched the entire show side stage, and Gord was in prime form that day. Unfortunatley didn't get to meet anyone, from any band that played that day but still an awesome time.
  14. 3 points
    Here's my shorter review. Kimock was awesome, great to see Andy Hess playing again. Magpie Salute was easily the best black crowes cover band I have ever seen (I have never seen a black crowes cover band). I'm going to disagree with edger on this one and say they were 100% going for the classic crowes sound and did an amazing job of recreating it. Hearing Marc Ford and rich together again was awesome. If Eddie could have been there would have been perfect. Lead singer does an admirable Chris imitation. But nothing beats the original. Greensky bluegrass were cool. I found cabinet painfully boring whereas bluesky are actually interesting to listen to. My Morning Jacket rocked. Great set. Lettuce were awesome and play like motherfuckers. Really cool to see Chaka Khan. Pink talking fish seemed kinda shitty by comparison. Why the fuck do people wanna hear so much cover music? We needed 2 different dead cover bands for this fest. The tribute to Gregg and butch was good but I agree with edger that les brer were better. Just tighter group better sound. Marcus king was good and that 22 year old can shred like a motherfucker but that is it. Shred shred shred sing like Warren Haynes a bit and shred some more. Def got skills but after 20 minutes I was bored. Try playing a slow guitar solo. Kimock said more in 5 minutes of playing than that kid did in 1.5 hours. Again, he's got crazy skills but no soul. Course at 22 who the fuck has soul? Widespread were great and umphreys late night was awesome. Forgot how good they are when they play like they got something to prove. I also enjoyed the record company. Fun blues rock 3 piece. Good energy. Seeing joe bonamassa was interesting. Not as much of a shredder as you might expect and has solid tone. But his attempt to move blues somewhere more interesting usually ends up sounding kinda cheesy but I give him credit for having an engaging and varied set. All in all its a very relaxed fun atmosphere. Everyone from staff and security, to fans, were very chill and had a respectful and easy going vibe. That rain sucked and camping on the side of the mountain was a bit of a pain. But we had a fun time and i would certainly recommend it as a good festival destination. And where was this massage place? If i had known that was around would have def taken part. Just like to add the week before peach fest I caught Jimmy herring and the invisible whip. Holy shit balls was that an incredible night of music. With Jeff sipe, Matt slocum, and Jason crosby those guys played at a level I'm not sure I've seen in a long long time. Just face melting jams and fantastic songs. Musicianship does not get better than this. I highly recommend checking them out.
  15. 3 points

    RIP Butch Trucks

    Heartbreaking setlist from Tedeschi Trucks Band last night: 1/ 25/2017: Peabody Opera House, St. Louis MO Statesboro Blues Don't Know What it Means Keep on Growing Isn't It a Pity Laugh About It Sky Is Crying Ali Let Me Get By Don't Think Twice It's Alright Leaving' Trunk / Vol Slavery I Wish I Knew How Blue Can You Get In Memory of Elizabeth Reed Let's Go Get Stoned
  16. 3 points

    The Hip - Hamilton - What a night!!!

    Some vids I too. If you can get through the Grace, Too without tears, you're not human :0) At the Hundredth Meridian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBp98emsJgY Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZgXdU_cGTc Grace, Too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQwrq2KHH9k Gift Shop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQwrq2KHH9k Ahead By A Century: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG8jIAAoiMc Fiddler's Green http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ-5PJDB2FA
  17. 3 points

    August 9th 2016

  18. 3 points
    Freak By Night

    R.I.P Richard “Dickie” Moore

    "Shoot da puck Dickie" My former father-in-law attended many a hab game in the '50s and he told me that's what the "Frenchmen" (his word, not mine) would say whenever the puck was on Dickie Moore's stick. When watching games on television with me 45 years later, he would shout "shoot da puck Dickie" at the television several times over the course of the game, even if the habs weren't playing. Good times!
  19. 3 points
    mark tonin

    Jamland documentary trailer

    We've been working hard putting the finishing touches on the Jamland documentary film. Here's the official 2 minute trailer. Please give it a watch and let us know what you think! The film premieres at the Original Princess Cinema in Waterloo on Thursday June 11. Visit www.jamland.tv for more info.
  20. 3 points
    "I'm going to go with a yes - if all else fails break a pool cue up in to three and have at it! " It would be Sackville all over again DB2.0!!!! Now if we could only procure some Californiasunshine.................
  21. 3 points
    mark tonin


    Jamland has been my main creative endeavour and a labour of love for me over the past number of years. I would like to invite my friends from this community to the two events mentioned in the picture below. Please send me a message if you would like more info. Many of you are now my Facebook friends and are a part of the Jamland community, but some of my online musical friendships seemed to get lost in a cyberspace black hole as things moved from what was once a vibrant and thriving discussion board community to the place where people like things but often times don’t say much else. As well, with Jamland in particular, it’s always been a bit of a juggling act trying to keep things “small and under the radar” while still getting the word out to friends who would appreciate the place and what we have been trying to create. I am really excited about the film and am thrilled with the final product. I never envisioned that I would make a documentary film, but I am fortunate to have a teaching colleague who is an excellent visual artist and filmmaker (Robert Waldeck from Drywal Media). When I was first approached by Rob to shoot some footage at Jamland, I said “sure” and didn’t really know what to expect. I don’t think he really did either. But it has turned out better than imagined. And the film was made with the event in mind, so I am obviously excited about the actual event! J Peace, Mark
  22. 3 points
    Playing slow guitar solos are hard to do. Choosing notes, or letting the notes choose you if you will, is a talent that fast-is-the-be-all players and their misguided idiot fans fail to grasp. Also, Jerry was a fast player, but he picked his spots. Some of the Dead's uptempo jams are damn impressive.
  23. 3 points
    I guess it's true. Yngwie Malmsteen is the greatest musician/composer of all time.
  24. 3 points

    So, who put their mail order in today?

    I would like to take a moment to congratulate the entire jambands.ca community for it's first two-page thread in four years. Congratulations!
  25. 3 points

    Epic Covers

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