Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Posies celebrate 30 years In The Twin Cities

Last Saturday night, The Posies completed the first half of their 30th anniversary tour appropriately in Seattle, the city where the band started 30 years ago. The night before they played in Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer's hometown of Bellingham, Washington, the site of their first ever show (see the previous post). It's been a long one and a half months since the tour began in Victoria, B.C. (the only Canadian stop on the tour) as they traveled across North America. The band takes a summer break before continuing on with the second half of the tour when they travel to Europe for some of September, all of October and a bit of November. From all accounts that I have read about, heard and seen, the tour has been an overwhelming success with enthusiastic crowds and energetic shows.

I had the opportunity to see one of these concerts when I traveled to the Twin Cities to catch the Posies at the Turf Club in St. Paul, Minnesota. The last time I saw the band was in 2005 at the 400 Bar in Minneapolis. This time I bought the tickets back in March for my wife's birthday with a road trip in mind as part of the present. There are many bands we both mutually enjoy, but the Posies are special. We've been fans of their music for almost 30 years and a chance to see them a third time was too good to pass up. They did not disappoint!

Regrettably, we missed the opening set by Terra Lightfoot and band, which was a shame because I heard she was great and I should be supporting a fellow Canadian (more on that later). She has opened for the Posies for most of the North American tour dates. We arrived at the show during Porcupine's set, which is noteworthy because their bass player is Greg Norton (Husker Du) who will play a significant role later in the evening.

Greg Norton joins the Posies for the Posie Du encore.

Terra Lightfoot shreds alongside Jon and Ken during the evening's finale, Flood of Sunshine.

The only way to describe the Posies headline set is epic! They played for over two hours and my gaze on the stage never wavered or was distracted, almost trance-like for the entire set and I have a hunch I wasn't the only one feeling this way. Ken and Jon spoke from the heart with interesting stories about the music industry, keeping the band together and their genuine love for what they're doing. They know how to make a connection with their audience and the appreciation was mutual. There were so many highlights during the concert, here are a few:
  • Terra Lightfoot bringing a round of shots on stage for the band and was coaxed into doing Loon impersonations. Also when Terra was quizzed where the Canadian Mint was located (she guessed Ottawa), us and a small group surrounding us reminded her it was in Winnipeg. Nice shout out for the Peg!
  • The last four songs of the main set. Ontario, Flavor Of The Month and Solar Sister are personal favourites (along with Grant Hart) and Burn & Shine is the glorious song live.
  • The encore, YES, the encore! "Posie Du" featuring Greg Norton (taking the place of bassist, Dave Fox) and the Posies ripping through four Husker Du classics, These Important Years, Green Eyes, Makes No Sense At All and Sorry Somehow. In my mind, this musical collaboration might be the closest I might get to hear Husker Du songs live, it was a great tribute. I soaked it in with a huge smile on my face, WOW!
  • The rest of the encore. Before they played the song, Grant Hart, Ken remarked, "This is so metal". This is the best version of this song I've heard live. Fast and driving with Norton on bass this was another moment of euphoria. Flood of Sunshine with Ken on "the worst" keyboard, Dave back on bass and Terra on second guitar was an exercise of endurance with expansive dual guitar solos and general mayhem. Terra and Jon were on their knees trading riffs and guitar noodling to the extreme. Broken strings and a pile of well used guitars ended the song. A perfect way to end the show. Ken announced, "By the power of Greyskull, I declare this concert awesome". and it truly was!
I'm very happy I brought my recorder state-side, because I caught an amazing concert and the unique setlist made this very worthwhile. The show sounds incredible, the vocals are clear and the music sounds crisp and balanced. Not bad for standing in the middle of the floor fairly close to the stage. I would rank this is one of my better sounding recordings. Thanks for everyone around me for not talking. The best concerts are the ones that are so good there is no time to chatter and talk...and my wife did get to meet and get a record signed from Ken Stringfellow after the show, YES, it was a great night!

There are some much better written reviews and articles about The Posies St. Paul show: (videos)

Please do NOT sell!!
Do NOT trade this in lossy format. 
Convert to lossy for personal use only.

Turf Club
St. Paul, MN
June 26, 2018

Sony ECM-DS70P mic> Tascam DR-07> SD card > 16 bit Wav>
Direct Wave MP3 splitter> FLAC> rar file
AUD Master

01. Dream All Day
02. Love Letter Boxes
03. Apology
04. Any Other Way
05. I Am The Cosmos
06. Please Return It
07. Golden Blunders
08. Precious Moments
09. You're The Beautiful One
10. Suddenly Mary
11. Licenses To Hide (w/Terra Lightfoot)
12. The Glitter Prize (w/Terra Lightfoot)
13. Ontario
14. Flavor Of The Month
15. Burn & Shine
16. Solar Sister

17. These Important Years (w/Greg Norton)*
18. Green Eyes (w/Greg Norton)*
19. Makes No Sense At All (w/Greg Norton)*
20. Sorry Somehow (w/Greg Norton)*
21. Grant Hart (w/Greg Norton)
22. Flood Of Sunshine (w/Terra Lightfoot)

*Husker Du covers

THE POSIES- 2018-06-26 Turf Club, St. Paul, MN FLAC Master. rar

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Happy Canada Day!! Neil Young- Omemee 2017

Nothing says Canada more than Neil Young! Well actually, maybe not. He doesn't even live in Canada, not for decades and he's been seen at San Jose hockey games wearing a Sharks cap and cheering for his "hometown" team. Conveniently, former Canadians (and Winnipeggers) such as Young and Burton Cummings make a timely appearance or comment on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube that reminds us they are still in touch with their Canadian past. This past NHL playoffs, Burton Cummings said he wanted to sing the anthem at a Winnipeg Jets playoff game, but unfortunately he was involved in a car accident in California that (thankfully!) prevented him from returning to his old hometown to sing. Young made a strange YouTube video a few years ago to express his love for the Jets. All kidding aside, Young has retained his Canadian citizenship, is an officer of the Order of Canada and was awarded the Order of Manitoba so he truly is proud of his achievements and his love for Canada is still very evident today.

On December 1st last year, Neil returned to his childhood hometown of Omemee, Ontario and performed a solo acoustic concert attended by invited guests and live streamed to fans around the world. I recall that the weeks leading up to the concert there was talk about where the concert would take place. Allegedly it would be a secret location somewhere in Canada and it would be some sort of homecoming to pay tribute to his Canadian roots. Of course, in my hometown there was a buzz that it would be Winnipeg because he spent a lot of his formative years here. He attended Kelvin High School and formed and performed with his first bands here. Most people assume he was born in Winnipeg, but in fact he was born in Toronto and shortly after he was born the family moved to Omemee. Later, he moved to Winnipeg, then Toronto and then back to Winnipeg with his mother after she divorced.

The concert was called "Home Town" for obvious reasons, but it was a look back to the past both musically and emotionally. The live stream began with a video with scenes of Omemee and photos of Neil from the years he lived there (he was 4-8 years old). Neil played almost two hours, just him on stage alternating between guitar, piano, harmonica, banjo, ukelele and pump organ. The setlist spanned his entire career and the intimacy of the setting and with the stripped down versions of the songs, this truly was an amazing unique moment. Neil had come full circle, coming home to Canada and treating fans from all across Canada and the rest of the world with his incredible talent. Happy (belated) Canada Day!!

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Neil Young
Coronation Hall
Omemee,ON Canada

This is the SBD audio from the CTV webcast video recently uploaded by schwinn:

Audio source data: AAC 256 Kbps 48.0 KHz stereo

Lineage: Audio extracted from the video source using MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 17 > WAV > Audacity (amplify, tracking) > TLH > FLAC > foobar2000 (FLAC tags)
Length: 1:44:35

01 intro [prerecorded]
02 crowd noise
03 stage entrance
04 Comes a Time
05 Love is a Rose
06 Journey Through the Past
07 Long May You Run
08 I'm Glad I Found You
09 Tumbleweed
10 banter
11 Old Man
12 Old King
13 Someday
14 There's a World
15 Stand Tall
16 War of Man
17 Don't Be Denied
18 Helpless
19 Heart of Gold

20 One of these Days
21 Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)
22 Sugar Mountain

NEIL YOUNG- 2017-12-01 Omemee, ON FLAC. rar

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