Monday, December 31, 2007

Home For The Holidays

Thought I would squeeze one last entry on TDIT for 2007.

Home for the holidays is what a lot of people have in mind at this time of year, while other's would like to be as far from home as possible...perhaps a much warmer location? Winnipeg's very own Weakerthans returned home last week as their "Reunion Tour" took them throughout much of North America and Europe for the past couple of months. In case you missed it, the Weakerthans never broke up (despite the long periods between releases), Reunion Tour is the name of their latest release and as you may have read in a previous post, I think it's one of the year's best.

This concert at the Burton Cummings Theatre felt a bit like deja vu because the band played this same venue last September (see my previous post) and performed a set not unlike last time.
A few random observations:

  • They played a similar mix of songs from the new album (last time they were still unreleased) as well as favourite's from the previous 3 albums.
  • Both times they played a 15-16 song main set followed by a 7 song double encore.
  • My seats were in the same section as last time. (middle 1st balcony)
  • Ottawa's Jim Bryson opened the show. Performed solo on guitar and occasionally some keyboard and he was joined by violinist Julie Penner, drummer Jason Tait, egg-shaker Christine Fellows and various incarnations of other Weakerthans' members. (including John K on bass). Bryson also performed as a 5th member of the Weakerthans for their whole set adding guitar, keyboards and backing vocals.
  • Was it just me or did John K. seem to sing a bit off-key in a couple of songs most notably, Hymn Of the Medical Oddity and Manifest?
  • I love the song, Tournament of Hearts! Best song about Curling ever! (a close second is the Dik Van Dyke's, Curling Song)
  • They really should ban beer sales at the Burt. I've complained about this at other concerts before because I had to stand up continually throughout their set for a girl that alternated beer runs with washroom runs. Was worried my recording might get affected having to shuffle up and least wait until the end of a song.
  • Great concert, sound was good and in the balcony you can always see clearly without having to stand for the whole show.
  • The Weakerthan's are a band Winnipegger's should be proud of. They are highly respected and critically acclaimed outside of Manitoba (maybe more so...?) and when I'm in another city and I mention I'm from Winnipeg, I've had people say, "Winnipeg...the Weakerthan's are from there". Yes, I kid you not, I've had that response more than once. Much like how the Winnipeg Jets put us on the sports fan's radar.

I have posted a lossless FLAC version of the concert on Dimeadozen and I'll post a zip of mp3's for those that can't access Dime (coming soon). I would love to post individual FLAC files, but uploading on my archive storage site takes way too long...sorry. If you do download the mp3's, please do not share or trade these lossy versions. If you want a hard copy of the show, please message me.

(photo credits- Davevdb and Keith Hartley)

For now here's some highlights:
Burton Cummings Theatre
Winnipeg, MB
December 22, 2007

Civil Twilight
Our Retired Explorer
Tournament Of Hearts
Confessions Of A Futon Revolutionist
One Great City

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bare (Unreleased/Demos) Juliana Hatfield

A couple of days ago I spoke about the Martial Arts free downloadable tracks from their new album on their MySpace page, another interesting concept is the Honor system. Juliana Hatfield has once again posted unreleased and demos on her website for download, she previously posted most of these songs about a year and a half ago. The Honor system is basically a pay what you want or can afford for the songs she has posted for download, if you choose you can download the songs free guilt-free and without breaking any laws. All payment (paypal-online, cash-mail) will go directly to the artist not a record label or an iTunes-like site. This concept has been recently been deployed for Radiohead's latest release, but I haven't really heard how successful this went, so I can't comment either way. Personally, I like this idea, if a band has some songs they want people to listen to without the restrictions and interference of a major label, the band should have the right to control the distribution of their own songs. For Juliana these demos and unreleased songs nicely compliment her albums to give more insight into her creative processes and obviously she is proud to stand behind all her work. I love Juliana, so support her, buy her albums and see her shows and most of all enjoy her music.

I'm posting some songs she hasn't had available for download before (they are on her site), read about these songs here and visit the site and have a listen. Don't forget if you like what you hear, donate to Juliana!

Can't Worry 'Bout It
Just Like That (Some Girls demo, Juliana all instruments)
I Can't Kill Myself (from the unreleased God's Foot)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Been Along Time Since They Rock'n'Rolled

The most anticipated rock reunion in some time took place last night in London to a wildly enthusiastic crowd of 20,000 who paid $250 a ticket...and yes, they we're the lucky ones! An online lottery saw over a million people from more than 50 countries enter for a chance to attend this once in a lifetime show. From all reports so far, Led Zeppelin did not disappoint and the fans that attended can now die happy. The Winnipeg Sun's Darryl Sterdan wrote a song-by-song review from the concert and his first hand (did he attend the show??) observations of the concert.

In the next few days I'll be scanning the internet for links or torrents from this show as I'm sure someone must have sneaked a recorder into the arena. I'm almost positive Led Zeppelin will release an official document of this concert be it DVD and CD, but I'm sure the true fan will want to hear this sooner....stay tuned!

update: an audience recording from the back of the floor is posted on... if you're registered, Dimeadozen (been downloaded over 3,000 times in half a day-Dec. 11) and

Instead of posting mp3 samples from the show, here's a link to a zip file of the complete show in mp3 format. I've had a listen to the recording posted on Dimeadozen and it sounds a little distant and has that large arena boom echo. Overall not bad, can't guarantee anyone closer will post the show though, so it's worth the least historically.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Martial Arts - Free (Legal) Music To Enjoy!

When I saw a link on a message board for a band that was offering it's newest CD for free on it's MySpace page I was skeptical. I expected a lame amateur band giving away some lo-fi recording because it wasn't worth selling...I was totally wrong! What I discovered was some catchy power pop that immediately drew me in and sampled all 5 songs on it's MySpace media player.

The band is The Martial Arts from Glasgow, Scotland fronted by singer/guitarist Paul Kelly who originally used the name for a solo project that eventually led to a full band lineup. Their sound has a great 60's new wave sound, nice melodies and a fresh sound that will get your toes tapping and head bobbing. Their debut full length (they have an EP, Do It Riot Girl as well) is called Your Sinclair and is available for free download, including the front cover and credits (download .rar or .zip file), until strings attached! Yes, this is the band's idea, I think they would be excited to have as many people as possible listen and let them judge if they want to buy a hard copy or see them live.
Have a listen, if you like it tell your friends, I highly recommend Your Sinclair!

MARTIAL ARTS Your Sinclair (2007)

Murry And Audree
Don't Want To Talk
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