Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stereophonic, Day 4 (Pt. 2)

some photo credit to vanessa blackier (the good ones)

I think I've pinned down why I felt so off on Saturday. That afternoon it had been my friend's birthday and over the course of an hour and a half I had had about ten beer. I was mostly sober by the time the shows rolled around, but there's no denying that that would have had a startling effect on me. I don't like beer. Me, I'm a wine-drinking man, as my bottle collection will inform you. I don't know why I agreed to do a century with them. I really don't know why I was one of only two to pull through all the way. But more on that if you ask, no more here.

When I got to George's, for this penultimate show of the Stereophonic festival, PheasantCougarBear was playing something I didn't really enjoy. I like the individual members, all students here at Mt Allison, but the music left a foul taste in my mouth. When I got there, I wanted to just settle in at a table and have a drink, before the show started. I figured since I left Struts so early, nothing would be happening yet at George's and I'd have some quiet time. No such luck! But oh well. If you want to see PheasantCougarBear's set, or indeed some others from the night (including THE STANCE, who rocked my socks right off, but more on that later), check out CultureHub.ca, a Saint John based videocast site. Apparently they'll be posting more videos from the night as time goes by! Maybe you'll even get a peek at me; watch the crowd for 3D glasses!

After PheasantCougarBear there was a little break as people arrived and whatnot, came in, got settled, the rest of the crew from Struts came. The Stance played first, and I'd heard nothing of this band before a few days ago when I was doing my CHMA training and one of my co-trainees played a cut from their album. I thought to myself, well, fuck, why haven't I heard of this band? Why haven't I heard that they're playing? They were a late addition to the festival, along with New Royalty who are playing tonight, but who I reported on. Anyway, they really impressed me, and I'm snatching that record from the offices as soon as I can, since they didn't have it for sale. I described them to a buddy of mine at the time as 'the Black Keys if they wanted to play dance music'. You can catch a video of them at that website I mentioned earlier. They were a whole lot of fun, I thought. Definitely check those boys out! I wish I knew more about them, so I could say more about them, but it's been a while since I've seen a band I'd never heard before and enjoyed them so thoroughly. The last one I can remember doing that was Hey Rosetta!, and they ended up being my pick for best album of 2008.

The Stolen Minks, an all-girl punk group out of Halifax came next. I hadn't seen a punk show of any description in quite a while, unless you count that thing at the pub a few months back. Okay, I hadn't been to a real punk show in a while. I don't even know. Anyway, I liked them! A friend of mine has their record, picked it up at the show, and I intend to give it a listen some time and share that with you, faithful reader. Sharon! Get me that CD! and the Maynards, too! It was a lot of fun to dance to, having had my own indie concert baptism in Saint John's hardcore scene. It was a little bit like going home. Just a little bit, though; those Saint John bands never played like this. And the moshing was a lot more tame. I only got punched in the face twice over the course of the night! Come on, now. It was an ace show, really ace.

In between here they had Elton John playing over the sound system. This led to a group of us singing along to Tiny Dancer and Rocket Man, drunkenly around a table. I have to say, it was quite a load of fun.

What can I possibly say about Shotgun Jimmie, who came on after our little interlude? He's been described as Sackville's mascot and its ambassador to the rest of the world, and he really does embody everything wonderful about the town. He's a magical personality. The first time I saw him--well, I don't think I blogged about it! I think it was the show which inspired the blog, though. It was just him and a looper pedal in a friend's living room, and what a beautiful set that was. This time, though, he came on with a three-piece band and they played a rather wonderful assortment of his solo music. I wish I'd picked up his album at the 67 Bridge show back in November, but sadly, no dice! All I can do is direct you to his myspace and hope you enjoy yourself there. Jimmie is one of my very favourite things about Sackville. One of my other favourite things about the town, as you probably know, is Julie. As you may or may not know, the two of them, along with Fred Squire and a couple of others who have yet to be mentioned in this blog made up Shotgun & Jaybird for a few years--a band I rather miss. However, this evening, Julie bounded up to the stage from where she was next to me in the crowd and joined Jimmie onstage to close his set with a duet on Bedhead, which may well be Sackville's favourite song. You can find it on his myspace. It was just oh so much fun, and I am beyond glad to have that moment now in my memory. Oh Julie, oh Jimmie! What a beautiful night you created.

But that wasn't the end of the night.

No, we were just beginning! After Jimmie came The Maynards, who put on a high energy show that was a lot of fun. Here I was starting to drift out and drink more, not in the front of the crowd rocking my heart out as I usually would be. This is what I meant in the last post by not really being myself. It's slightly upsetting. The Maynards, though, were dorky in a hardcore way, I'm not sure how to describe it. My advice to you is, once again, head on over to CultureHub.ca and check out the video of their performance. It really is a lot of fun, and you're expecting it if they open up their set by saying 'This is a song about eating out your friends! It's called.. Friendilingus!' What I heard of it I enjoyed, and Sharon I want you to get me their CD, too, so I can hear what they sound like. I did enjoy them, from what I could tell, but I need a better indicator! And I'll be back once I've heard an album with a review, you just watch. Super-fun performance that had people making out for free beer. That's all that really needs to be said.

And! Finally! As you likely can tell from the header of this post, the night was capped off with the Tom Fun Orchestra, my very favourite band to see live. Sadly, Morgan, their fiddler, he wasn't with them because of some kind of surgery, yikes. They still put on a rad show, but there was definitely something missing. The focus on the trumpet though was neat, Bert took over some of Morgan's parts. I still really do miss Alicia, and I miss her most when I hear them do Watchmaker. Carmen really is growing on me, but I don't know. Watchmaker is where Alicia really shone. I have to stop talking about them in terms of what's missing, and have to talk about what was gained! They closed the show with the most epic version of You Will Land With A Thud. I have never seen them play the song live, probably because it is just so very long. It was a gorgeous end to the show. They did Bottom of the River, another one I've never seen live, and proceeded into You Will Land With A Thud as the encore. Absolutely beautiful stuff, and it made up for the whole missing Alicia and Morgan. Ian, too, was very Ian. He did a call-back to the last show they played at George's referring to the blackboard aside the stage, which had led the crowd that time in a chant of SWEET AND SOUR MEATBALLS! But this time, oh no, it was covered up! So he pulled the sheet down from the wall and wrote on the blackboard, underneath Friday's Special: THE MIND IS A POWERFUL TRICK! I'm rather hoping it's still there, though I have a feeling it's been replaced by Monday's and then Tuesday's specials. But, one can dream! Oh, Tom Fun Orchestra, you are such a delightful group. You ended the night on a beautiful note. I hope I can manage to see them again soon. Between the stage presence, and the overall awesomeitude of the music, well just, gosh, I can't think of any band I would rather see live.

And with that, Saturday night ended, and Stereophonic took a break, before the final show on Tuesday night, at George's. To which I'm going in an hour.

No comments: