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Friday, November 25th, 2005

In The Boneyard

As I mentioned a couple days ago in the comments, The Hidden Cameras live are one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen (yes, my hyperbole engine is enabled), but the albums don’t reach the same heights for me for a variety of reasons, including how they simply don’t capture the magic of the live performance, and with their “In The Boneyard” collaboration with the Toronto Dance Theatre, the bar is set even higher.

Zoilus and Geekent have much better reviews than I (in addition to the The Toronto Star and The Globe & Mail ones I linked yesterday), but I, however, have pictures. Only a handful, taken very quickly during the last two numbers when the audience was up and clapping and generally carrying on. It wasn’t really the sort of atmosphere that I wanted to have the camera out in, and I really didn’t want to miss anything happening onstage whilst fiddling with the settings. And anyway, still photos don’t really do the show justice – it was so kinetic, you’d need video and even then, it couldn’t capture the live experience (though if any one of the pieces was recorded, it would easily be one of the best music videos ever). The Cameras were set up on a high set of scaffolding while the dancers frolicked on the stage in front of them (and invaded the audience a couple times). Over the course of the show, the dancers and musicians would change places and try their hands at the others’ craft (and usually acquitting themselves decently).

I’ve never watched modern dance before, so I was really awestruck watching the dancers move – they were so graceful and nimble, I felt horribly clumsy and awkward just sitting in my seat. The production felt like a Broadway show, but without all the unnecessary story and dialogue – it was just a solid hour of enormously entertaining and joyous music and dance. The Cameras’ new Awoo material, which soundtracked the show, sounded good, though very much the same as the older stuff. It will be interesting to try and enjoy the album on its own when it comes out next year – I’m sure I will, but it really worked so well with the dance, it’s really a shame they couldn’t somehow capture that energy and spirit for all to experience. But until they do, I guess I’ll just have to say “you had to be there”, and if they do this again next year, which I hope they do, then you really should try.

Apparently five sold-out shows just ain’t enough. Stars have achieved maximum rock’n’roll density with an all-ages matinee show at Lee’s Palace on Sunday, December 18. So for those keeping track, that’s shows on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night, Sunday afternoon and Sunday night. Whoo.

Jeff Tweedy talks to Paste about Kicking Television, “Kicking Television” and what lays ahead for Wilco.

Billboard has details on RT – The Life and Music of Richard Thompson, the Richard Thompson box set due on February 7 of next year.

Glide celebrates the resurrected Posies.

Chart talks to M83 in an old interview that they’re running for no real good reason.

Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois came out on double vinyl this week, and features a bonus track (“The Avalanche”) and third iteration of the cover art featuring some brightly-colour balloons in that infamous central piece of real estate (because nothing says “Illinois” more than balloons). But! The first 500 5000 copies (though probably all snatched up via pre-order) have those balloons on a “Peel slowly and see”-approved sticker… and guess what’s underneath? Up up and away. Cheeky monkeys.

I’ve been nominated for “Best Culture Blog” in the Canadian Blog Awards. Well, me and about 4000 other blogs. Democracy in action and all that.

np – The National / The National

By : Frank Yang at 8:54 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. matthew says:

    I nominated both you and Said The Gramophone for best "culture" blog, so I’m torn as to who to vote for…Hopefully one of you guys wins, though, because your competition isn’t very good…

  2. chris says:

    thanks for the info on the sufjan vinyl. i got mine at tower, and it’s got the balloon sticker. i didn’t notice it until just now.

  3. graig says:

    Question Frank, have you heard Ecce Homo, the Camera’s unofficial first album consisting of Joel’s bedroom 4-track recordings? I actually prefer that kind of stripped down, more experimental, low-fi to what they tried to do on their other albums.

    The double 7" released this year with 4-track recordings of ..erm.. four tracks from AWOO sort of solidified my opinion on this.

    But there is one recording which really does capture the Camera’s live feel, and that’s their In Session set on CBC radio from 2002. I have a recording of it somewhere (it’s no longer on Just Concerts sadly). I think it works so well because the band is playing together as opposed to recording their parts in pieces.

  4. suckingalemon says:

    you got my vote!

    and i hope the crowd tonite is in a dancing mood.

    cheers

  5. Willy B says:

    Can’t wait for the Richard Thompson box set. One of the all-time greats.

  6. rc says:

    at asthmatic kitty website it says first 5000 copies has the sticker…and shipping is only $2 there!

  7. Frank says:

    okay, I was off by an order of magnitude.

  8. suckingalemon says:

    so i did not take any photos.
    just did not feel right. im not very sneaky.

    but oh boy THAT WAS AMAZING!
    the dancing was just wow.
    i have no words.

    cheers

  9. Mark says:

    There’s nothing quite like seeing a Hidden Cameras show in a venue with their own fans…it’s about as joyous and infectious a show as one can experience. I saw HC open for Fiery Furnaces at Maxwell’s, and while that show was good, nothing quite prepared me for how much fun I had at their own headlining show, which I saw later on at Bowery Ballroom. You felt out of place if you were NOT dancing and singing along!