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Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004

I'm A Ghost

For the sake of brevity, let’s just say everything I wrote about Ted Leo back in March still holds. It was a little bit smaller and probably a little more sedate crowd to see him last night, but come on – it’s a Monday night. Cut us some slack. Thankfully, I don’t think it’s possible to dampen Ted’s spirits. He was in high spirits all night, chatting with the crowd between songs like an old friend, even though his gear was slowly self-destructing behind him. Last time it was his Echoplex that was cutting out – this time, his amp started giving up the ghost about halfway through the set and while he managed to keep it going, his tone deteriorated steadliy throughout and by the end of the encore the guit was sounding pretty crappy. Not that that affected the quality of the performance, of course. There was a hefty amount of new material in the set and I can say with some authority that Shake The Streets is going to be rocking even more than Dokken. Can’t wait till October for that one.

If I have any complaint, it’s the absence of any merch for sale. Alas, no Pharmacists t-shirt for me. Also, I applaud the lighting guy for managing to determine the exact combination of lights that would make the band nigh invisible to my camera. Seriously, I was standing not three feet in front of Ted, yet any flash-less photos just came out black. Amazing. I didn’t want to blind the guy from so close so I held off snapping any shots until he pulled back from the stage whilst soloing (which was a lot, thankfully). You can see last night’s shots here, or the ones from March here.

It’s officially A Ghost Is Born day today! Everything has a ghost theme. I myself and dressed in a white sheet and let me tell you, typing ain’t easy. Metacritic has compiled all the major reviews online (currently sitting at a 79%, which is actually about what I’d expect). Also, interviews/features/stories from MTV, The Associated Press, NPR (in audio!), Pitchfork and Stylus. And no, I don’t have the record yet. Will dash out after work and grab it.

The bad news for the day is that Lollapalooza has been cancelled. After my initial shock and disappointment passed, I can’t say I’m that surprised. The costs of assembling a huge lineup like they did can’t have been insignificant, and they may have overestimated the ability of the acts to draw the necessary crowds – in fact I questioned the financial viability of the festival from the get-go. Sure, it was an amazingly hip lineup but hipsters don’t generally have money. I will blame the Bush economy for this one. So my questions are:

1) How much of my money will I get back from Ticketmaster? If it’s just face value, I will be very unhappy since there ended up being about a 75% markup on the thing. Not that I can do anything about it but whinge.

2) Wilco has shows booked in Montreal and Ottawa on the two days preceding their originally scheduled Lolla date in Toronto on the 6th of August. Will they try to re-book? I mean, they’ll be in the neighbourhood and from what I can tell, none of the larger venues have announced any shows on that date yet. If there’s a silver lining to this, maybe it’d be that Wilco would do their own proper show rather than a festival date. Though missing out on The Flaming Lips sucks.

Rough Trade is releasing a nice little compilation featuring indiepop from yesterday and today and you can listen to a aural documentary about the story of Creation Records here.

My legs hurt.

np – various artists / Wig In A Box: Songs From and Inspired by Hedwig & The Angry Inch

By : Frank Yang at 8:50 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Five Seventeen says:

    "When Ticketmaster issues a refund, it will issue a refund of the ticket’s face value paid (or, if a discounted ticket, then instead the discounted ticket price paid), the facility fee and the convenience fee. If the event was scheduled to occur in Canada, then the order processing fee will also be refunded (but not for events that were scheduled to occur in the United States). In no event will delivery prices or any other fees or amounts be refunded. If a refund is issued, it will be issued using the same method of payment that was used to purchase the tickets. If a credit card was used to make the refunded purchase, then only that actual credit card will receive the credit for the refund." from http://…/

    You should get it all back.

  2. RSL says:

    sigh. no sonics. no le tigre. "there is no santa claus. how could you lie to me?"

  3. Chris says:

    I’ve been hunting for that Rufus Wainright version of Origin of Love for an age – do you have it, or any idea where i can d/l it?

  4. sam says:

    is the tribute album worth a buy? i remember being shocked by the amount of great artists in the lineup but i never got around to looking for the cd.

  5. Frank says:

    You know what? I think it’s surprisingly good. I expected it to be a novelty that I owned for the sake of being a completist for the artists on it, but I listen to it quite a lot. The performers are obviously having fun with it, but they’re not joke performances at all. Especially tops are the Sleater-Kinney/Fred Schneider, Frank Black, Breeders and Polyphonic Spree tracks. And the Rufus Wainright track is amazing. Chris – email me about it.

  6. Carla says:

    I’m surprised at myself for not actually warming up to Wig In A Box and being only slightly impressed by the Spree’s rendering of the title track. I keep meaning to give it a another chance though, I probably should soon.

  7. pinder says:

    i saw a similar Ted Leo show where the lighting sucked and i was 3 feet away from him. i had brought my film camera instead of my digital so i decided to take a few flash shots. i felt bad about it though and went up to him after the show and apologized. he was super cool about it and said "i didn’t even notice".

  8. mike says:

    Hey Frank,

    I was at the Ted Leo show yesterday…a little more central to the stage but a couple of ‘rows’ of people back from the stage…my digital cam ‘flash’ pictures seemed to have come out decent. I’ll use the flash and take the picture at just the point that the performer isn’t looking directly at me, I’ve never had any complaints, or so-called ‘snarky’ stage remarks as Ted might put it.

  9. tim j, says:

    Frank – good to meetcha last night. Disappointed you didn’t sign my chest. Sure I’ll see you around and yeah, the site is everything a doe-eyed boy could dream of and more, thanks.

  10. sam says:

    [And the Rufus Wainright track is amazing.]

    aw, shit. i’ll have to get it now.

    thanks :)