Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004
Check out the excellently low-budget but wonderfully-executed video for Ted Leo & The Pharmacists’ “Me And Mia” here. From Donewaiting. Also make note of the official fan site at timorousme.org and Torontonians should know that tickets are now on sale for his December 5 show at the Mod Club ($12 at Rotate This) and the openers have changed. Matt Pond PA and The Vague Angels will no longer be warming things up, instead we’ll have locals The Junction and The Meligrove Band. For my part, I am absolutely loving Shake The Sheets. It started out as a pretty solid ‘like’ but has really shifted into a higher gear with recent listenings and is totally kicking my ass right now.
Monday night I stopped by the 360 to check out Aussie pop combo Augie March. I didn’t really know any of their stuff going in – my attendance was based on some positive buzz on a few mailing lists I’m on and a couple of positive comparisons in the show ads (Wilco/Flaming Lips/Sparklehorse, etc). As it turns out, Augie March were not what I was expecting – they were far more conventional and less bent than I was led to believe. Regardless, I enjoyed their set which reminded me more of the Hothouse Flowers or James (thanks to Inaam for the second reference point), mostly thanks to singer/guitarist Glenn Richards’ smooth voice and penchant for dramatic vocal inflections. There were some moments of fine three-part vocal harmony and whatnot and all in all it was a set of finely polished pop tunes, but the band were a little lacking in stage presence and it wasn’t revelatory by any means. Local openers The Old Soul were peppy and entertaining, if a little on the shambolic side. The first half of their set was comprised of some peppy keyboard-led pop songs while the second set wandered into jammy territory. Stylistically, a good match for the headliners. Some photos here.
In the latest issue of Harp, there’s a feature on Paul Westerberg in which they sum up all the activity going on with the Mats back catalog. Here’s the lowdown: Next Fall, Rykodisc will be putting out expanded editions of the Twin/Tone albums (Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash through Let It Be) with the requisite remastering and bonus tracks and Rhino will do the same for the Warner titles (Tim through All Shook Down). The box set, which will cover both eras, likely won’t show up until 2006 and a compilation of Westerberg’s solo material will be in stores next Spring courtesy of Shout! Factory.
Ivy’s fourth (proper) album has a name! In The Clear will be out on March 1 through Nettwerk, not February 1 as previously reported.
The Music are coming back to Toronto, just four months after their last show. This time, they’re at the Kool Haus on December 14.
I went to bed last night before things were looking too clear, though it wasn’t very encouraging for the good guys. First thing I did when I got up this morning was load up the news and… you’re fucking kidding me. I’m sure there’ll be challenges and recounts and blah-diddy-blah, but I doubt that will change anything. I want to crawl back under the covers now. Everyone and their grandmother will be offering their commentary on the election, so I’m not going to bother too much. I’m feeling many things – disappointment, disbelief, fear, anger, ennui, hunger… Actually, what started as disappointment has been quickly growing into full-on depression as I wrap my head around what a Bush win means for America and the world, and utter dumbfoundedness that despite all the deception, incompetence and all-out evil that were hallmarks of the first Bush term, the American people have decided that he deserves another four years. And this time, there’s no conspiracy theories to hide behind for the defeated – I think the results speak for themselves.
This time, Bush didn’t steal the election, it was given to him by the American people – both the voters and the non-voters (17% voter turnout for 18 to 24? Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic). He won the popular vote, he won the electoral college, the GOP took more of the House and Senate, his ban on gay marriages were resoundingly supported. To me, this says that the majority of Americans actually want his brand of ‘leadership’, his vision of morality and his agenda of fear. I think all the high-profile activism of the past month and the political circles I hang out in have presented a skewed perspective on the political landscape in the States – if you were to go by the whole “people I know” thing, Kerry would have won in a landslide. So this is… sobering. I am, however, interested to see how many of the American touring bands I’ve seen in the past year who promised to move to Canada in the wake of a Bush win, and that’s pretty much all of them, make good on their promises.
And speaking from a Canadian POV, it was frustrating to not have been able to cast a vote or influence matters in any way at all even though the ramifications of the election are obviously going to felt globally. I do still want to do my part, however, so I’ll offer to help any Americans fleeing Bush’s America get settled up here in Canada. 8×10 glossies required, Y-chromosones need not apply.
np – Idlewild / 100 Broken Windows