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.
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