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Monday, June 28th, 2004

Hall Of Fame

15 people. Fifteen. One-five.

Subtract that from 4,000,000 or so people and that’s how many people in the city missed a great Toronto debut for Sea Ray show at the Rivoli last night. Granted, there were a few factors working against the band like zero promotion, a Sunday night, no local openers (or any opener), Pride festivities throughout the city and the fact that no one knew who the hell they were (despite my best efforts), but it was still a disappointing turnout. For a while, I was counting heads and just hoping they’d break double digits. Although I never drink at shows, I bought a beer because I felt bad for the bartender. The poor turnout didn’t elicit a poor show from the band, however – they still played all-out to impress everyone who did show. They played most of their terrific sophomore album Stars At Noon as well as a new song over the course of a too-short 40-minute set. Like the record, the show was lush, spacey and powerful throughout, we even got to see the very rare occurrance of the bassist breaking a string – the A-string no less. Thankfully the sound was quite good as the band’s complex instrumentation and arrangements could easily turn into mud if not handled properly. I had wanted to see how a professional touring band incorporated the cello into their live sound as we’ve had a hell of time coming up with a workable system – seems they came up with the same solution as us. Run it into a big honking bass amp and mic the thing.

I’m also glad the band brought out the full light show even for such a small crowd. By light show I don’t mean strobes and flash pots, but a projector hooked up to a laptop that created an otherworldly ambiance onstage. It was really quite impressive and not at all distracting. I can see why Jasper at jenyk.com calls Sea Ray one of his favourite bands to shoot – I just kept clicking away with my camera, letting the ever-changing lighting create new shots for me. I’m really happy with how rich and colourful my pictures turned out. If there was a positive side to the low attendance, it was that I had free run in front of the stage to get whatever shots I wanted. I talked to lead singer Jordan after the show and he promised not to hold the low attendance against our fair city, acknowleding that “no one’s ever heard of us”. So maybe the next time they come back we can shoot to double the attendance and go for a whopping thirty people.

It seems silly to expend much energy discussing a film as lightweight as Dodgeball, so I won’t. Sufficed to say that it’s stupid and it knows it, it’s funny, Ben Stiller is hilariously over-the-top, Christine Taylor is hot and Vince Vaughan is very poorly cast as a straight man who doesn’t look like he’s in on the joke. He sleepwalks through the whole thing and barely looks interested. Granted, that’s supposed to be part of his character, but still. He’s much better suited to be the loudmouth prick character than the nice-guy. And that’s all.

No Matter What You Heard wants to point out that BOTH halves of the entity formerly known as Uncle Tupelo put out new albums last week, and that Jay Farrar still deserves some attention as well.

Sonic Youth waste no time making up the dates for the Lollapalooza cancellations and will be at the Kool Haus August 5, the same day they were originally going to be at the Molson Amphitheatre.

Pitchfork has gotten a facelift – all the snarkiness, but easier to read!

American Analog Set has a few live recordings available for download on their website.

Was browsing my list of past concerts attended and I noticed that the last show I went to that wasn’t in Toronto – and I’m talking Toronto proper, the 416, was in 1998. Man I gotta get out more.

Today is Election Day in which we determine who will lead our country over the next four years (or four months, if it’s a fragile minority government with no support). I want to encourage everyone in Canada who is of age to go out and vote. Unless you’re going to vote Conservative in which case, STAY HOME. Kidding. But not.

np – The American Analog Set / Know By Heart

By : Frank Yang at 8:42 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Gary Campbell says:

    Hey Frank… sorry for not showing up to Sea Ray. I sort of planned to attend, but by the time Sunday evening came around, I was dead beat and could barely walk from the living room to the kitchen.

    No doubt their next show will be an all-out stunner sold out show where I won’t be able to get in, a la Franz Ferdinand. First show, they’re nobody, and then their the next big thing. Frank, at least you can say you discovered them first.

  2. solace says:

    don’t count on it for Sea Ray sadly, they just aren’t the type of sound that will illicit buzz like Franz. just being a realist.

    i’ve been singing their praise to my friends (online and off) since last Sept/Oct or so, and still they only pulled in about 40 people for their headlining show last week (granted i wasn’t there either, as i already had tickets for Spoon across town, and tried my hardest to make both shows).

    i felt really bad too, i told Jeff (their keyboardist) at the Stills show a few weeks earlier that i probably would not be able to make it though, and he said "hey, you’ve been at all (4) of the shows we’ve done here so far, i think it’ll be ok" :)

    i guess, while i’d love to see them get a lot more support, at the same time, i’d rather it be through the right means, word of mouth, touring, and not just a mostly press-fed hype machine like a lot of bands do. though if it happens, at least w/ this band, i would totally agree they deserve all of it :)

  3. janelle says:

    15? lame! canadians DO suck! [kidding]