The Rolling Tundra Revue tour featuring the Constantines and Winnipeg's own, Weakerthans landed in town last Friday night for the first of a two night stand at the Burton Cummings Theatre. The Weakerthans are one of few bands I try to catch whenever they come back home and you can always count on them for an entertaining show. Their 21 song set featured songs from all four albums and they treated the hometown crowd to two encores consisting of 6 songs.
One thing that slightly annoyed me and distracted my attention throughout the concert was the usual chatter and shout outs from the crowd. This usually doesn't bug me too much, but the (high pitch, really loud!) whistling (especially during the encore) during the songs became a competition between a few attention seeking idiots. I know it feels nice to be acknowledged by the performers we paid to watch, but to continually yell and shout, "happy birthday John" and other stupid comments gets tiresome and embarrassing. During the opening encore songs, One Great City and My Favourite Chords when John K performs solo, some guys across the aisle from me shouted out some clever dialogue, "where's your f*cking band!" and "f*ck you John K. Samson!", exactly at that moment (I don't think it was a coincidence), Samson stopped mid-song to re tune his guitar. He started the song up again, but a minute later he stopped again and changed guitars. Earlier in the show he joked about how he remembers his first beer, obviously in reference to some guys that were yelling at him and then a few songs later he asked the "boys" to stop shouting at him because it distracted him and it would be bad for everyone else. Samson is probably too nice a guy to make a bigger deal out of it.
I've listed the setlist from the show and the link below to download the whole show. Enjoy!
WEAKERTHANS Burton Cummings Theatre Winnipeg, Manitoba April 17, 2009
1. Everything Must Go 2. Tournament Of Hearts 3. Our Retired Explorer 4. Night Windows 5. Reconstruction Site 6. Aside 7. Civil Twilight 8. Bigfoot 9. Plea From A Cat Named Virtue 10. The Reasons 11. Elegy For Elsabet 12. Left And Leaving 13. Relative Surplus Value 14. Benediction 15. Manifest
encore 1 16. One Great City 17. My Favourite Chords 18. Confessions Of A Futon Revolutionist 19 This Is A fire Door Never Leave Open 20. Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure
encore 2 21. Pamphleteer
Download the complete show: Weakerthans 2009-04-17 .rar (mp3) Dimeadozen.org (torrent FLAC files- need to register) (If this doesn't work for you, leave a message in the comments and I'll link you to the file)
Saturday was Record Store Day and again I failed to take in the festivities at my local indie record store. As you may have heard, the vinyl record is on a comeback with increased sales and more and more bands releasing stuff on vinyl. In Winnipeg, Into The Music reports that a large percentage of it's sales are still attributed to vinyl, as they are one of the few local stores that didn't shun the vinyl format and have continued to buy and sell new and used records...bravo for them! My own vinyl collection is taking up valuable storage space in my living room and basement fridge (non-working empty) and my parent's basement, but I have held onto my old Dual turntable and last year purchased a portable battery powered USB turntable with the original idea of transferring my records to digital files. But you know what, I've hardly transfered anything and I think I'll use it to play and listen to records at home and at work. Why re-buy (or download) my records when I can play them on their original format and the scratchy sound is still better quality than transferring them into compressed digital mp3's.
Many record labels have released special vinyl to commemorate the 2nd annual record store day. Two unreleased songs were made available from Ryan Adam's old band, Whiskeytown which were recorded during the "Baseball Sessions" circa 1996. I don't know why this wasn't previously released, the songs are really good and if you're a Whiskeytown fan, you'll appreciate these samples.
I just got back from dropping Jesse off at the airport for his 7am flight to Ottawa. He and the team (Kelvin High School) he co-coaches are competing this week for the Canadian Improv games. This competition gathers together all the top teams from across Canada to Ottawa to vie for the coveted crown of national high school improv champs. If you're not familiar with improv as a sport or want more info check improv.ca.
As a tribute, I thought I would post something from Ottawa native Kathleen Edwards, who I'm sure you know is a favourite here at TDIT. For my 5:30am drive to the airport I played Kathleen's, Failer CD which upon further reflection might not have been the best choice for luck's sake considering he was going to a competition. (As a related note, I think Six O'clock News and 12 Bellevue are two of her best songs!)
Back before Failer, which was released in 2003, Edwards recorded a six song EP entitled, Building 55 and pressed 500 copies. I had not heard of this disc until I was reading her Wikipedia page and I quickly sought out this previously unheard piece of music. This very limited disc must be a collectors item and I would like to own a physical copy, but a little searching on music blogs with the help of search engine, Captain Crawl (which as of a couple of days is not running), I was able to find Building 55. Not a bad first effort, her voice is more raw and gruff, but the sound quality and playing is passionate and inspiring. Most of the songs are exclusive to this release, except for track 7, which was re-recorded and re-titled Westby when it appeared on Failer 4 years later. I like the EP, it's not glossed over and slickly produced and this is a good introduction to her music. It's really more of interest for established fans that want to hear how she hasn't veered too far from her original vision or taken on any other identities or personas. Newbies should really start at Failer, Back to Meand Asking For Flowers, all outstanding albums.
I don't actually have the whole album, but I do have 3 tracks from an EP by a band called the Wendy Darlings from France. I sampled these songs from another blog and was so impressed and excited from what I heard, I had to share them here. I don't know much about the band other than they are a three-piece from France comprised of Saddam Suzy on guitar and vocals, Dr Poppy on bass and vocals and Dj Sepia on drums. The band decribes their sound as "naughty pop". They have a fresh twee-pop indie sound that's slightly lo-fi and definitely has traces of Bratmobile, Breeders and the Vaselines as influences. I love crunchy guitars and bouncey melodic songs that make you want to nod your head and hop up and down.
Their new EP, We Come With Friendly Purposes may be hard to find here in Canada and I haven't found any more downloads (yes, I'm even talking to you iTunes!), free or to buy, but it is available from Lost Music Records in the U.K. I would love to hear more and I would be interested to find out if they have any other previous releases. I looked at their MySpace page and just got confused, but if you want to hear more songs, have a listen on the pop-up music player on their MySpace.