Monday, September 27th, 2004
The Sweet Hereafter
Combining the musical DNA of alt.country acts Hominy and Whiskeytown, Seattle’s Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter are supported mainly by the twin pillars of Sykes’ smoky alto voice and Wanscher’s deep, twangy guitar riffs. Their tour supporting sophomore album Oh, My Girl, out on Barsuk, brought them Toronto’s Rivoli last night and they played an hour of lovely, slow-burning country songs. The music was mesmerizing and helped make up for a defecit in stage presence among the performers – everyone except Sykes was near invisible in the low stage lights and she seemed to prefer hiding behind her hair. The turnout was pretty decent for a Sunday night, though it was helped out by the fact that the Sweet Hereafter’s drummer is originally from Brampton so the homecoming committee was out to cheer him on.
Opening the show were The Great Lake Swimmers who were an excellent choice for the bill. An act very much in the same vein as The Sweet Hereafter, the local outfit played a set of mostly sad, sparse acoustic songs tasefully accented by banjo, electric piano and brushed drums and anchored by Tony Dekker’s captivating voice. They’ve been around a while but this was my first time seeing them, and I was impressed.
All in all, a nice way to wind up a Sunday night – particularly for no cover. I’ve always wondered how promoters paid the performers when they play free shows. Not complaining, mind you, just curious. Some photos here.
Matador Records’ anniversary set Matador At 15 will be coming out October 12 and offer up two CDs and a DVD of retrospecitve goodness for the reasonable list price of $15.98 US. Since previous compilations What’s Up Matador? and Everything Is Nice did a bang up job covering the legendary label’s first decade in existance, the new set – one disc of ‘greatest hits’, one disc of rarities and a DVD of videos – will be dedicated to their last five years between 1999 and 2004. A full tracklisting is available here. Some nice stuff there, yessir.
The Fountains Of Wayne b-sides album has been pushed back to January 25.
Rented Starsky & Hutch – pretty much the textbook definition of a mediocre movie. Not particularly good, not particularly bad. Just… there. It was more a random collection of 70s-themed gags that needed some context to string them together. I suspect the cast had more fun making it I did watching it. I never watched the show so there wasn’t any sort of nostalgia factor working for me either. So yeah, that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Weather was perfect yesterday for Word On The Street, which happily snarled up traffic from Queen’s Park up to Bloor on Avenue Rd. The new digs made for a much more picturesque setting, it’s far preferable to wander the booths through the park than it is in the cramped confines of Queen St. Once you got up to the booths, however, it was still chaos as usual with people fighting to get at discounted books and magazines and whatnot. There were good deals to be had but you needed Gordie Howe elbows to get to them – I couldn’t be bothered – I came away with a cookbook and consider myself lucky to have done that well.
np – Rilo Kiley / Take-Offs And Landings