Saturday, May 29th, 2010
CONTEST – Gord Downie & The Country Of Miracles / The Grand Bounce
AmazonWhen Sloan sang, “it’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans” in “Coax Me”, they were referring to Consolidated but the sentiment could well have applied to their fellow Canadian rock icons The Tragically Hip, who have the dubious honour of possessing some of the most obnoxious fans north of the 49th. My last run-in with them was thankfully some 17 years ago (whew!) but I still shake my head at the memory of them essentially booing Daniel Lanois off the stage at Molson Park, as though it would have brought The Hip out to play any sooner. And amazingly, all these years later, they still come out in throngs and sit through all the new material that the band continue to produce, just waiting to hear “50 Mission Cap” and “New Orleans Is Sinking” and high five one another.
So while I’m sure that Gord Downie appreciates his fans and the fact that they’re loyalty pays his mortgage, it’s not surprising that he’s felt the need to craft a solo career, separate from The Hip, that in theory allows him to explore his art without worrying about how it might be received by his band’s less open-minded fanbase. His third such solo endeavour The Grand Bounce finds him backed by a new band called The Country Of Miracles and produced by Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla. With its bright, faintly country-rock vibe and Downie’s ever-evocative lyricism, The Grand Bounce is honestly the first Hip or Hip-related project I’ve listened to since the turn of the century and, if they’ve all been nearly as good as this is, perhaps I shouldn’t have let those aforementioned fans put me off their more recent works. That said, you still couldn’t pay me enough to go to a Hip show. No sir.
The Grand Bounce is out on June 8 on CD but the double-vinyl edition was quietly released yesterday and courtesy of Universal Music Canada, I’ve got a copy of the LP to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want The Grand Bounce” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body and get that to me before midnight, June 8 – contest open to residents of Canada.