Friday, April 29th, 2011
Weeping Tile celebrate celebration of ’90s CanRock
Graham KennedyCanadian music circa 2011 is doing pretty great; more plentiful, creative and respected at home and abroad than ever before. No doubt sometime in the not too distant future, someone will write a book about this 21st century musical renaissance that (mostly) put an end to having Bryan Adams and Celine Dion as our national ambassadors of song.
But this golden age didn’t just happen, and the crucial decade that laid the foundation for today was documented by local scribes Michael Barclay, Jason Schneider and Ian AD Jack in the 2001 book Have Not Been The Same: The CanRock Renaissance 1985-1995, which documented the rise of Canadian music as it emerged from local scenes, college campuses and the underground in general to produce acts who are institutions today and inspired countless others to follow, such as Blue Rodeo, Sloan and The Tragically Hip and a slew of others familiar to me from my time as a university newspaper music writer and general nascent music obsessive.
I can’t actually go into detail about the book because, well, I haven’t read it. Originally released in 2001, it has been out of print for over half a decade (though yes the Toronto library has copies, shush now) but that unfortunate status is being rectified, just in time for the volume’s tenth anniversary. An expanded and updated second edition will be released on July 1 and if that’s not cause for celebration, then I don’t know what is. Okay, maybe Canada’s 144th birthday. But I digress.
A proper celebration of the occasion will be happening on June 10 at Lee’s Palace, and feature a terrific, period-correct bill. It’s led by the Cold Snap-era Weeping Tile, the Sarah Harmer-led outfit who occasionally break hiatus for special occasions like this, Wolfe Island 2007 or whenever Harmer feels like putting the folk-pop aside to make a righteous racket. Joining them are Guelph’s recently reunited jazz-rock heroes King Cobb Steelie and Kevin Kane, co-leader of Vancouver’s also recently-reunited Grapes Of Wrath and though he’ll be here with his solo career band, I’ll bet you can expect to hear some GOW tunes in the set.
The concert/book release announcement at Barclay’s Radio Free Canuckistan says that ticket information is still forthcoming but proceeds will be donated to Centre For Addiction & Mental Health. Read the book, see the show, support a worthy cause, bask in it all.
Ron Hawkins, whose Lowest Of The Low were possibly/probably the most important band for me in the era covered by Have Not Been The Same, will play an in-store at Sonic Boom on May 28 at 3PM to promote his new solo record Straitjacket Love. He’s also got two solo shows at Graffiti’s in Kensington on May 26 and 27 and a full-band residency at The Drake on June 22, 29, July 6 and 13. The Low are at Massey Hall on May 7.
NOW and The National Post chat with The Rural Alberta Advantage in advance of tonight’s show at The Phoenix. NOW have also got another Southern Souls-shot video with the band, this one a performance of “Barnes’ Yard”.
The Bay Bridged is sharing MP3s from a session with Thao & Mirah, who bring their Thao & Mirah collaboration to Lee’s Palace on June 5. Oregon Music News and LA Weekly talk to the pair about working together, and yes – that is a Pat Benatar cover.
Titus Andronicus’ new Garden State-tripping, New Jersey-celebrating video from The Monitor – almost enough to make you not make a beeline for Penn Station as soon as you land in Newark. Almost. AM New York has an interview with the band, who are in town at The Phoenix on June 10 opening for Okkervil River.