Friday, June 26, 2020

Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet- Studio and Live Stuff...

In Canada, we are known for many things. Mounties, beavers, hockey, beer, very cold weather (in some parts), lower COVID rates (than the US!!) and our sense of humour. Maybe it's our dry-wit humour or make that dry cold humour where we spend too many cold winters staying inside being creative (yes, we have a good music and art scene too!) with nothing better to do. We have had a history of funny people from Canada, from the top of my head; Jim Carrey, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, John Candy, Norm MacDonald, Martin Short, Seth Rogan, Phil get the picture. This is what we excel in, making people laugh! Shows like Saturday Night Live had several key Canadian cast members (including creator Lorne Michaels) and the Second City in Toronto and Chicago were a great training ground for young comics.

In the mid-80's a sketch comedy troupe, The Kids In the Hall formed and performed in clubs in Toronto. The troupe consisted of Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson. They went on to star in their own TV series on CBC in Canada and CBS, HBO and Comedy Central in the U.S. from 1989-1995. Then they made a movie in 1996, then a eight-part miniseries in 2010. They toured the country a couple of times and I had the pleasure of seeing the group live in 1994 when the series was still on air. In some ways they were the Canadian version of Monty Python with each performer bringing their own characters and personality that worked wonderfully as a group. The latest news announced in March 2020 is another reunion in the form of another eight episode TV series on Amazon Prime. Very exciting news!

As good as the Kids In The Hall were, the music during the show (going to commercials, coming back from commercials), the musical interludes really gave the show a cool hip sound that definitely enhanced the ambiance and look of the show. In some ways, the Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet were an unofficial sixth member that were a part of the show from start to finish in their TV shows and they were a very important aspect of the show. I noticed in the later seasons, they put a face to the music with appearances of the band playing in those grainy B & W segue clips. The song, Having An Average Weekend was used as the theme song for the show and this song is probably what they're best known for. On their own, the band was prolific and released many singles, eps and 3 full length records, though one of them, Saavy Show Stoppers compiled the early singles/eps. They've toured numerous times and were most active from the mid-80's to the mid-90's. More recently, beginning in 2012, the band reunited for a couple shows and have since played occasionally with Dallas Good (from the Sadies) on bass for Reid Diamond who passed away in 2001. If you're interested in hearing all of the Shadowy Men music, I recommend seeking out the vinyl box-set, Oh, I Guess We Were a Fucking Surf Band After All, if you can find it.

The Shadowy Men post below I downloaded from Dime many years ago. It interested me because there isn't a lot of their live recordings around and that the band must have taped their shows. Such a cool find and an intriguing story, back when fans communicated with bands before social media and before the internet took off. I've corresponded with bands in the past, via letter writing and it's refreshing when they respond back, sometimes sending music and merch. Please read the note from the original poster, it explains what this is all about and thanks to that person and the friend for making this possible. I recently had a listen to this, it's interesting, but sometimes frustrating because some songs cut off and the sound quality at times is so-so. Sorry, I don't have a track-listing. A highlight is the CBC broadcast and I remember actually listening to this when it aired in the 90's. Oh, so long ago!

Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats (except for personal use)
Please share!

"Studio and Live Stuff That Will Never See the Light of Day"

Note from the original poster:
Some years ago, a friend of mine sent a fan letter to Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. He didn't think of it, until a few months later when a package arrived for him, full of Shadowy Men stuff--signed poster, matches, a bunch of other stuff, and a cassette labelled "Studio and Live Stuff that Will Never See the Light of Day".  No set list, no more info, just that.  This is from my copy of that cassette.  Lineage is unknown, but as it came from the band, it shouldn't be too high.  There is no setlist.  I filled in what I could, but with most of it being strictly instrumental, it's really hard to guess.  The studio stuff seems to be pre-FM of a CBC "Brave New Waves" broadcast, as it includes longish gaps and false starts.  I haven't edited this at all--this is the tape as received.

Lineage: unknown gen, sent to fan by band member>one gen from that>M audio sound card>wav>flac  editing with CDWav

Track Listing:
01. (live)
02. Woman Shake (live)
03. (live)
04. (live)
05. (live)
06. (live)
07. (live)
08. (live)
09. (live)
10. (studio)
11. (studio)
12. (studio)
13. (studio)
14. (studio)
15. (studio)
16. (studio)
17. (studio)
18. false start (studio)
19. (studio)
20. We Like You (studio)
21. (studio)
22. (studio)
23. (studio)
24. (studio)
25. (studio) (cuts)
26. (studio)
27. (live)
28. (live)
29. (live)
30. (live)
31. Having an Average Weekend(live)
32. (live)
33. (live)
34. Shadowy Countdown (live)
35. (live)
36. (live)
37. (live)
38. (live)
39. (live)
40. (live)
41. We Like You (live)
42. Batman (live)
43. (live)
44. (live)
45. (live)
46. Jackpot (live)
47. Case of the Missing Lady Fingers (live)
48. (live)
49. (live)
50. (live) (cuts)


Saturday, June 06, 2020

Minus 5- Livin' It Up At The Hotel California 2013

Back on March 24, 2020, the music world lost another great musician, drummer Bill Rieflin who died of cancer at the age of 59. Caught up in the confusion and panic of the COVI-19 epidemic during that time, I didn't properly give tribute to Rieflin who played on many recordings I own and was a member of some pretty fabulous bands. He is best known for his work with Ministry, the Revolting Cocks, Swans, KMFDM, King Crimson and as a auxiliary member of REM. His connection with Scott McCaughey began when McCaughey (on short notice) needed a drummer to play a Minus 5 show in January 2000. This led Riefkin to play alongside McCaughey and Peter Buck (from REM) in many projects including (and maybe more?) the Minus 5, Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, Peter Buck (the band) and Filthy Friends. In a touching piece, Our Musical Friend from Scott on the Minus 5 website he wrote, "I've gotta say Bill would be amused by all the kind and glowing things being said about him right now.  Don't get me wrong -- they are all deserved -- but those of us who knew him, would know also that he saw himself as a cantankerous, not-suffering-fools type of guy.  And it's true; Bill could seem difficult, off-putting at first, though he was also weirdly exceptionally polite.  He was an ambiguous combination of iconoclast on one hand, and a mannered, considerate gentile on the other."

Thanks to the combined efforts of Peter Buck and his wife and Journal Del Pacifico, they launched the Todos Santos Music Festival in January 2012. Many of the bands that performed for the first couple years were bands closely associated with Buck including many, the Baseball Project, Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 and the Minus 5 he was a member of. This sounds like the perfect way to spend a chilly cold winter in January up in Canada watching great music in sunny hot Mexico. This Minus 5 set was recorded during the second annual edition of the festival and other bands (other than the bands mentioned earlier) that performed during the 2013 festival included, the Posies, Chuck Prophet,  Alejandro Escovedo, Joseph Arthur and others. The Minus 5 set is a fun mix of M5 "hits" and some very cool covers (I Can't Explain!) and they never disappoint. Fantastic sound, I don't have the source information, I'm sure I downloaded it on Dime, but I deleted the files and fortunately I had burned a disc years so this is ripped from that disc. This is a good one!

Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy format (except for personal use)
Please share!

Hotel California
Todos Santos, Mexico
January 10, 2013

01. With A Gun
02. Lies Of The Living Dead
03. Where will You Go?
04. Courage Is the Smallest Bird
05. You Don't Mean It
06. Fetus industry
07. Got You
08. Don't Look Back
09. Dear My Inspiration
10. Adios Half Soldier
11. The Town That Lost Its Groove Supply
12. Hotel Senator
13. I Can't Explain
14. Time Bomb High School
15. Revolution Blues
16. Over The Sea

Minus 5-
Scott McCaughey- vocals, guitar
Peter Buck- bass
John Ramberg- guitar, vocals
Bill Rieflin- drums

Locations of visitors to this page