Monday, October 27, 2008

Ben Folds Five - "Army" from MySpace Front To Back (TQ’s plea)

One of the first bands I saw live, and thus fell in love with, is Ben Folds Five.
They've since broken up.
Ben Folds has gone on to a somewhat successful solo career.
Friends have asked why it's not the same for me.
I don't know why...
They've said, "Isn't it just like how "Sting" by himself is the same as "The Police?"
They have a point.
But I can't agree with that.
There was something there, that is no more.
Three men together creating a sound-
-an atmosphere.

And recently MySpace got them back together for a "one time" performance.
To play their last album "front to back."
It's now online for all to watch.

Here's one song, their single from that album...
Man, why can't that start a reunion tour?

Check out this video: Ben Folds Five - "Army" from MySpace Front To Back

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TQ’s guide to "Mountie Rock"

So you want to get into Canadian Independent Rock Music?
A genre I lovingly call "Mountie Rock."
Allow me to make a few suggestions.
Follow the musical path I am about to lay out, if you so choose.

If you are a man, I suggest you start listening to this album first:
"You Forgot It In People" by Broken Social Scene"

If you are a lady, I suggest you start here instead:
"The Reminder" by Feist

After sampling these, ask yourself if you like the faster paced beats-
-or the slower paced grooves.

If you're a dude, and want to move stop here next:
"Folkloric Feel" by Apostle of Hustle

If you've got matching pairs of X chromosomes, and you don't stop 'til you get enough:
"Some Are Lakes" by Land of Talk

Now on the flip side, if you're a fella' and want to lay back with the brim o'your cap over your eyes:
"Population" by The Most Serene Republic

Similarly, if you are the fairer sex looking for introspection in music:
"In Our Bedroom After The War" by Stars

At this time let me disclose that I enjoy all above mentioned music.
By some accounts, there may not be much of a difference in the above voyages.
And, I surely did not come to all these acts in such a logical manner.
I may be depriving you of the fun of traversing the Northern Ally's landscape looking for cool note imports.

If you're still with me, and have enticed your Canadian appetite (not talking about venison here), it's time to take a seriously close look at Broken Social Scene.

Listen to the self-titled 2005 album by Broken Social Scene:

Feel free to play this performance in the background when I give a brief history of Broken Social Scene:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

LoT+ BSS = Wow

I spent more than a half hour attempting to find an appropriate video to describe the Broken Social Scene concert I attended last Thursday.

Thanks to the blog "Pop Tarts Suck Toasted", I think I found it.

That's where I found the below clip from just over a month ago. It shows Broken Social Scene performing "Shoreline" (which is, if you subscribe to the "YouTube as your popularity indicator" theory, would be their number one song). Key to this video taken at a NYU concert is that it features Elizabeth Powell.

This is "Lizzy" Powell, the front person and main creative force behind Land of Talk:

Land of Talk was the opening act for Broken Social Scene. And in the true collaborate effort that BSS is, Lizzy stepped in happily for any song needing a female vocal. This, if you don't know, was the path first blazed in BSS folklore by Leslie Feist (You've probably heard of her).

Land of Talk, although they didn't play the song I heard on NPR's All Songs Considered, had a powerful set... considering...

Considering that whoever was in charge of the sound quality the night of Thursday October 9 at the Vic Theatre in Chicago was incompetent. Honestly, I've never heard such a mismangled sound at a professional concert. Maybe I should give those boys some slack, because mixing an 8-11 member band must present unique challenges.

Back to Land of Talk:
Lizzie was hot.
She was powerful.
I just bought her debut album off iTunes.
Add another name to my growing list of "Mountie Rock" acts I'm following.

But LoT wasn't alone on using the BSS bandwagon to gain the attention of yours truly.
I've heard a few songs before from Apostle of Hustle, which I liked.
Julian Brown, of AoH, was performing with BSS last Thursday.
Just one more example of the interconnected harmony of the Canadian Independent Rock Scene... Here's a picture of Mr. Brown:

I haven't bought any AoH music yet, but I'm sure I won't be able to make that statement much longer.

As for the actual main event: the set by Broken Social Scene...
In any other year that didn't include a free ticket to Radiohead, that concert would have been the musical highlight of the year - and in the running for moment of the decade.
They played the songs I wanted to hear, but I got to experience the joy of BSS. To see 8 to 11 Canadians playing multiple instruments and truly conveying at atmosphere of fun playing.

There was also a sentiment expressed by Kevin Drew (one of the two "founding" members of BSS) that was echoed two weeks earlier from fellow Mountie Rockers Stars. Drew mentioned that he understood that economic times are rough, and that he appreciates everybody spending their money to see them live (and to fund his life, to be lived the way he wants to live it).

The show ended at 10:30 pm, per the neighborhood's noise ordinance mandates. They didn't waste any time, cramming as much music as they could muster. In a move I've never seen before, but dreamed of seeing, a band played their "last" song - then continued right into their "encore." This band doesn't want to pull the charade of ending a set and walking off the stage, in a gratuitous ploy for more applause. They just kept on playing. Because that's what we all wanted, and I get the sense that's what they wanted too...

It's safe to say that I will be purchasing two tickets the day the next BSS show goes on sale - then spending whatever time window I have leading up to the concert to convince someone else that it's worth the voyage. (Special shout out to Jeff, who was the unsuspecting party that I dragged to this show - but I think he appreciated it almost as much as I... Even if my dance grooves were probably embarrassing)

And now, for your viewing pleasure - Here's Broken Social Scene featuring Lizzy Powell performing "Shoreline"

Friday, October 3, 2008

How I got Stood Up by 20 girls in one night

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:
The motto I try to live by is, "It's not whether you win or lose, it's if there's a story to tell."

With that in mind, I agreed to attend an event by an organization called "Date and Dash."

It was a Speed Dating event.
I signed up for a Speed Dating event.
Yes, an event in which you theoretically have over 20 first dates.
Each lasting 5 minutes.
You know, just enough time to get a great superficial opinion on a person.
Maybe that's too harsh.
Supposedly, it's just long enough to discover a first-impression spark.
But all that doesn't matter right now.
These people, from their site, don't matter right now:

Last night, Wednesday October 1, was the date my friends and I selected.
Selected after batting around this idea for close to ten months.
We finally did it, got all our ducks in a row, agreed on a date, and paid $35 each.

Coincidentally, October 1 was also the first day of the Major League Baseball playoffs.
Specifically, the first game of the Chicago Cubs post season.

I assume that Date and Dash selected a Wednesday Night in October thinking it would be a low key environment. Yes, it was in a bar - but who goes to bars in the middle of the week? Or, more importantly, what large group of people would cram into a Chicago Suburban Bar to the extent to overtake the entire venue?

The answer are these people:

So last night I rushed home from work.
Got into the shower.
Remarkably shaved without causing excessive facial bleeding (a rarity on nights when I try to make good first impressions to the opposite sex)
Spritzed on some cologne.
Put on my nice jeans, freshly polished black leather shoes and a button down that I know looks good because it was a bought as a gift from MySister...

All for naught.

For some fifteen minutes before my friend was about to drive up to my curb my phone rang.
I listened to the news that the crowd at the bar that came to watch the Cubs game was so large that there would be no space for the speed dating event.
The event was cancelled.

And I hung up the phone.
Officially all dressed up and no where to go.
This is what it must feel like to get stood up to the power of twenty.
It didn't feel good.
For months, the nervous energy had been pent up.
I was finally ready mentally, although maybe not emotionally, for what I expected to be an exhausting event with potentially large ramifications.

Everyone who I told before October 1 of this plan had to be let down as well.
People came up to me today, with small specs of hope in their eyes.
Many of these, had lost hope from watching the before mentioned baseball team get blown out.
Hoping to hear a comedic story from yours truly.
The next chapter in the Romantic Tragedy that is my life.
These friends of mine are the unknown solider casualties of this lost battle.
But they may not have died in vain.
Their hopes may be resurrected.
For I did pay my $35.
Money that will be credited towards another event on Date and Dash's schedule.

Stay tuned sports fans, stay tuned.