Wednesday, February 11th, 2004

"Be Cool, My Canadian Babies"

Ahhh, Conan. Night one of Late Night in Toronto was… well, I can’t be objective – I was kinda giddy, as was the audience. You got the impression Conan could have done anything – ANYTHING – and he would have been met with rapturous applause. The jokes and the sketches were just on the right side of corny, but shoot, it was just neat. I love this city, and it was very neat to see scenes and places I come across every day used in the opening montage and commercial lead-ins. I do wonder for viewers south of the border… was it like watching some bizarro looking glass version of the show? “That… *looks* like Conan… but I have no idea what anyone is talking about…” Har. That stand up comedian, however, sucked ass. Sorry about that – somehow they managed to book the one non-funny Canadian alive. Reports on the show from The Sun and The Star. Looking forward to night two.

The once and future Spiral Stairs will be bringing Preston School Of Industry to the Horseshoe on April 1 to support Monsoon, out next Tuesday. I was recently set straight on how much Mr. Kannenberg contributed to Pavement’s sound (I was under the impression SM did all the work and SS was just essentially a hired gun for touring), so maybe I should take another look at the PSOI stuff. Anyone have opinions?

Also coming to town April 1 are Rainer Maria on a bill with a bunch of bands I’ve never heard of (Coheed & Cambria, Brazil and Funeral For A Friend) at the Opera House. I like RM, but I suspect this show will be waaaaay too emo for me.

Aussies Sekiden and BC’s Salteens play a CMW hangover gig Sunday March 7 at the 360. It’s likely an all-ages matinee show. I missed both these acts their last time through town last year, so I’ll try to make it this time.

Elf Power have made a rip-roaring, two-fisted track from their new album available on their website. “Never Believe” is from Walking With The Beggar Boys, out April 6.

Rashomon asked me to contribute my top-10 desert island discs list for no particular purpose. It actually took some thought because after the first handful, I don’t actually have a preset list, it’s mostly what I feel like at the moment. But here’s what I came up with last week (in no particular order):

Belly / King

Ride / Going Blank Again

Elvis Costello / King Of America

Luna / Bewitched

Neutral Milk Hotel / In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

The Shins / Oh, Inverted World

Teenage Fanclub / Bandwagonesque

Uncle Tupelo / Anodyne

Wilco / Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Yo La Tengo / I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One

…though I am already kicking myself for omitting a bunch of crucial records. Like completely forgetting The Replacements’ Let It Be, or bumping Steve Earle’s El Corazon at the last minute. I suck at these lists… I could do one per decade, easy, but all-time? No way.

Tick… tick… tick… 24Man, I know how they felt at CTU when that worm hit. Once, I was like, using the internet? And then the internet connection went down? And I was all like, “Hey, I can’t get to the internet”. And it sucked. But at least now I know what happened… it was Nina. NINA. And Sherry? Damn, that woman is COLD. I won’t even comment on the baby. Unless Chase is the mole, and the baby is some kind of evil human/mole hybrid, THERE IS NO GOOD THAT CAN COME OUT OF THIS PLOTLINE. None at all.

np – Centro-Matic / Love You Just The Same

By : Frank Yang at 9:52 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Matthew says:

    With PSOI, stick with the first album and EPs. Those are pretty good, though not exactly exciting records. The new album Monsoon is awful though, so I’d recommend staying away from that.

  2. Five Seventeen says:

    I’m with you on your 24 analysis. Everytime they add a good twist (the worm), and the return to LA, they throw in something stupid like Chase’s baby!! ZOINKS! or Sherry letting someone die!! JINKIES!!

    The worst thing is, they finally made Chase somewhat likeable, Chloe a little darker instead of just weird, and Kim was almost appearing competant.

    So far the worst thing about the season has been no lead characters dying. By this point in Season 2 Jack had cut off someones head, and George was dying/dead… and Nuclear bomb.

    This time, Chase has a sore hand, Tony has a sore neck, and Gael (where is he in all this??) got roughed up.

    Spoiler for next week: Kim drops Chases baby, and Chloe deals with an onslaught of Spam that *could* be from terrorists. Meanwhile Jack, Chase and Nina search LA for a cell phone battery.

    The President goes on David Letterman.

  3. ian says:

    I never watched the show but my guess is that Ron James probably had an off-night. I’ve seen him perform as recorded during Just For Laughs and in his special Up And Down In Shaky Town. Ron James is usually piss-your-pants hilarious.

  4. Carla says:

    PSOI’s first album was to me highly enjoyable and in my opinion overrated. I’ve heard a couple of preview tracks from Monsoon but I can’t say yet either way if the album is going to be good or not. I am of course gunning for the former. In any case, I will definitely be at the concert front and centre, as Spiral was my fave Pave (met him once and made a page about it way back before the dawn of blogging).

  5. Carla says:

    Ugh that should read "underrated" not "overrated"

  6. Carla says:

    P.P.S. Thanks for reminding me of Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque. Great, yet another CD to add to my list of albums that I once owned and must obtain again.

  7. Paul says:

    I must be the only person in the world who thinks "Bandwagonesque" is one of TFan’s worst records. It’s poo.

  8. Five Seventeen says:

    That’s okay Paul,

    I feel like I’m the only one who think Elvis Costello writes crappy songs. I thought the marriage to Diana Krall would help prove my point, but people keep insisting.

    So, though I like Bandwagonesque, I understand.

  9. Frank says:

    man, you’se guys is harsh. Don’t hate!

  10. Pete says:

    I thought the show picked up its steam again last night and it was great to see for once. Finally starting to get some anwsers. Although I will agree the plotline has been all over the place this year instead of sticking to the basics I guess they are entitlted to try it out. But my best guess is they are writing this as they go along, not exactly preplanned. But nonetheless 11 hrs to go and I am still watching.

  11. Frank says:

    11 hours to go? ELEVEN HOURS TO GO?

    Gawd, I thought we were down to the home stretch. maaaan. I guess it only seems like it’s taken forever.

  12. kyle says:

    I don’t think Bandwagonesque is ‘poo’, but I’ve always enjoyed Thirteen more.

  13. Brandon says:

    That’s Kannberg, not Kannenberg, boss.

    IMO Pavement’s sound is far too thick to credit SM’s guitar with all of it. Listen to the Joos records he plays on and you’ll be able to detect the abscence of SS. SM laid down some fine tracks for the Joos but they’re more sparse. Pavement has a lo-fi version of what I like to call the wall of guitar sound and SS is a big part of that.

    I’d beware of that Rainer Maria show. Where Coheed & Cambria go, the MTV set goes too. The place will probably be lousy with Hot Topic-clad suburban rich kids, like a truck full of emo done jack-knifed. At least it would be stateside.

    I can’t even deal with the guy who doesn’t like Elvis Costello.

  14. Frank says:

    Allmusic alternately calls him ‘Kannberg’ (http://…/) and ‘Kannenberg’ (http://…/). Fuck it – I’ll call him Spiral Stairs. And I got the impression SS didn’t play on the pavement records from an interview Malkmus gave a guitar magazine for Terror Twilight, where he intimated that he played everything. I’ll try to dig up the quote.

  15. ben says:

    coheed is the trendiest band in the underground these days…i give them another 15 minutes before they’re not even slightly underground. oh, and yet another vocalist biting geddy lee’s sound (which has to be the worst of all trends in recent music).

  16. Brandon says:

    Yeah, that’s weird. Google has tons of hits for either name, but says that <a href="http://…/ calls him Kannberg. It’s not important though, we can just call him SS.

    I’ve always gotten the impression that Terror Twilight was a thinly veiled SM solo release anyhow, so I can see where he might have done all of the guitar work there. Also note that the guitars on Terror Twilight are much less dense than previous Pavement discs. There are no Spiral Stairs penned tracks on Terror Twilight at all, in fact AllMusic says that SS wrote songs for that album which didn’t make it onto the disc and those comprise the first PSOI album. AllMusic gives the impression in their Pavement bio that their early singles and S+E were strongly collaborative between SM and SS. Of course Pavement was never particularly transparent so it’s hard to know. I’ve just always felt that the Pavement records with SS were distinctly different guitar records than any of SM’s solo or side project stuff, and those records were definitely the better for it. Perhaps I’m giving him too much credit and the difference is all in SM’s attitude towards those bands, but I find it hard to believe that the differences between Pavement and SM & The Jicks for example can be attributed all much to SM. I think SS was a big part of the Pavement sound.

    If you find the article I’d love to read it. As you can tell this interests me. =)

  17. Brandon says:

    That should have said "Matador (http://…/) calls him Kannberg". I’ve just learned how your comment system works.

    BTW, I’ve been reading the site for several weeks now. I’m enjoying it. Nice job.

  18. Five Seventeen says:

    Brandon, RE: Elvis.

    I’m not the only one. there are a few of us http://…/ vs. http://…/ it’s about a 1:14 ratio or roughly 7% among thoe who express an opinion.

    the same ratio holds true in two other searches http://…/ vs. http://…/

    Not exactly scientific, but close enough for me. (insert smiling emoticon here.)

  19. Five Seventeen says:

    Oh yeah, that last comment should be directed towards Frank too who wonders why I don’t play along when EC covers come up during band practice.

  20. Frank says:


  21. Damn Skippy says:

    Not to break up the flow of the music discussion but you wrote you wondered what people down south thought about last night’s Conan. Two words: uncomfortable American. That’s how I felt.

  22. Paul says:

    I thought it was alright, although I didn’t really see it past the opening 20 mins or so. It didn’t make me feel uncomfortable in any way, though.

    The Elgin is sooooo small, though. I’m surprised the show didn’t book a larger spot.

  23. Paul says:

    Oh, and Mr. Five Seventeen. Is there not one single Costello song you like? Out of the 2,000,000 he’s written?

  24. Frank says:

    Okay Brandon – here’s the quote from an interview with The Guitar Magazine out of the UK (Jul 99) about making Terror Twilight:

    "Like on Spit On A Stranger, there are essentially four guitars that I play on that. I don’t think Scott is on that, or if he is he’s so low you can’t really hear it. He doesn’t play much on any of the albums except as a rhythm kind of padding thing, and then I try to teach him the songs afterwards."

    Makes Kannberg sound like a hired chimp.

  25. Brandon says:

    Hmm, that’s interesting.

    Thanks for tracking it down.

  26. Five Seventeen says:


    Though I can’t say I’ve heard all 2,000,000 of Mr Costello’s songs, I’m sure if I sat and listened to every band with enough output (say 4 albums) there will be a song I like here and there. However, I dare not list specific examples, can of worms, etc.

  27. jorge says:

    My Teenage Fanclub’s favourite is ‘Songs from Northern Britain’

  28. James says:

    Michael Bolton from ‘Office Space’ playing Dalton, the random Gael-replacement CTU tech guy, was ace though…