SLCR #61: Martin Tielli (March 23, 2002)

I was shocked and saddened to read the news of Paul MacLeod’s passing. I didn’t follow his career super closely, but I have a few of his CDs and always enjoyed what I heard ever since Aaron introduced me to his music.

A while ago, Aaron asked about the time we went to see Paul MacLeod only Paul MacLeod wasn’t there. I sent this to him – I don’t think he’d ever seen it before. He seemed delighted. Anyway, I promised him that I’d post it on here sometime and this is sometime. Here’s how Aaron and I met.

Tomorrow I’ll post about the time we actually saw Paul MacLeod.



It has been quite a while since I’ve had the chance to write one of the fabled Stupid Little Concert Reviews, over five months, at least. I must admit that the thought of tackling yet another one doesn’t fill me with confidence. I’m not afraid that I’ve forgotten how to write one, but… see, around a year ago, Kristin and I went to see Ashley MacIsaac. During this show, Ashley told all sorts of stories, including some about his sister, Lisa. His stories were highly entertaining (if not necessarily true) and so I mentioned them all in my review of the show.

The quicker among you already know where this is headed.

So Ashley MacIsaac said untrue things about his sister and told us not to tell her. Being hilarious, I put his stories and his warning on the Internet. It was a funny joke, see… Ashley said “don’t tell her,” so I put it on the Internet ANYWAY but I also included the warning that we weren’t supposed to tell her… get it? I swear, I am a comedy genius.

Besides, who knew that Lisa MacIsaac would do a web search for her name and read the review?

So one day I come home from work and there’s an email from someone complaining about the content of my concert review and I’m all like “whatever” because part of my website deals with the trading of wrestling tapes and so I get lots of email that doesn’t make sense. It barely registers now. I grabbed a soda and reread the message, though I really didn’t see why someone would care about what I had written about Lisa MacIsaac except maybe no oh no GAH

As it turns out, she was actually quite friendly. She just wanted me to change the review because what Ashley said wasn’t true. I did, because she asked nicely and I am a good guy at heart (if somewhat mischievous and unaccustomed to the fact that anyone can read my web site). Don’t go rushing to read the review now or anything, it’s been (very slightly) changed.

But that was that review and this review features Martin Tielli, although he wasn’t who we were going to Louis’ to see. No, see, Hawksley Workman is awesome, so when Deserée got her friend Aaron (am I spelling his name right? who knows) hooked on Hawksley, I was glad. When said Aaron told her that Paul MacLeod was awesome like Hawksley (and also that Hawksley had produced MacLeod’s album), I thought it would be good to check him out.

By a striking coincidence, listed a show date for Paul MacLeod in Saskatoon at Louis’, sharing the bill with Martin Tielli of the Rheostatics (and Christine Fellows who is not, presumably, of the Rheostatics). Deserée and I made plans to go. is a lying bitch. I mean, if you want to order CDs by Canadian bands, it’s great. Super service, decent prices, what more could you ask for? Well, maybe accurate tour dates.

Actually, I shouldn’t blame MapleMusic, necessarily. It could be that Paul MacLeod actually was supposed to be at Louis’ that night, but failed to show for whatever reason. However, knowing that Benjamin Darvill of Crash Test Dummies had a string of tour dates listed at MapleMusic – dates that were never actually scheduled in real life – I know who I think is at fault here.

I’m getting ahead of myself. I talked to Dez on the day of the show, and we made plans to meet upstairs at Louis’ at 8:00.




Meet upstairs.

So I got to Louis’ at about 8:02 or so, and Dez was nowhere to be seen. This was no surprise, I never expect anyone I know to show up on time, except in cases when I’m seriously late. When that happens, they inevitably show up a half-hour early. But I digress. 8:02 became 8:05 became 8:10 became 8:20 became “I’m taking off at 8:30 if she doesn’t show” became 8:29 and “didn’t you see the note?” Of course I hadn’t – I was looking for a person upstairs, not an orange note on the door saying “I am already downstairs.” But whatever, these things happen.

We got downstairs where Aaron and his… girlfriend? Wife? Person? I don’t know. I think she said her name was Cindy but it’s hard to hear things in bars.

You know, I like that. I want to use it as an excuse all the time. “Sorry I’m late, it’s hard to hear things in bars.” “Sorry I forgot to rewind the tape, it’s hard to hear things in bars.” “Sorry about driving over your cat, it’s hard to hear things in bars.”

Anyway, we sat around and talked and Aaron immediately revealed himself as a good guy by knowing who Big Rude Jake is and Dez ate chicken fingers and I was going to as well, but then I didn’t. Now it’s 2:30am on a Friday night (or Saturday morning, if you prefer) and I wish I had chicken fingers. Of course, if I had the chicken fingers then, it wouldn’t likely have any bearing on my wanting chicken fingers now, unless those chicken fingers were all covered in pus and scabs or something so I swore off chicken fingers for life. Maybe it’s good that I didn’t have any then. Or maybe it’s not.

Anyway (again), the people that I believe to be Aaron and Cindy are new to Saskatoon by way of… I think Montreal and Toronto, but as always, it’s hard to hear things in bars. I do believe that they had been there for almost two hours by the time I had shown up, and they were there to see Paul MacLeod. I do believe that they are still waiting. Goddamn you, MapleMusic.

With a fair bit of time to kill, I brought out my Palm Pilot to pass the time. Specifically, the Palma Sutra. The Palma Sutra is a fantastic piece of freeware which, as you might have guessed, is the Kama Sutra with a hilarious name. Anyone who wants to visit can download a collection of low-fi pictures of… well, positions, complete with descriptions in broken English. A better conversation piece, I have not seen.

After another hour or so, Christine Fellows took the stage. I swung my chair around to view the stage, the end result being that I was blocking the aisle and tripping the servers. Oh well. Her show was pleasant enough, very singer-songwritery (which is to say, she did not rawk furiously). I really don’t know if I have a whole lot to say here. It did seem that her guitarist (bass player?) and drummer didn’t know the songs all that well, and that the songs ended rather abruptly amid much giggling. This mystery was solved when the same guitarist (bass player?) and drummer came out to perform with Martin Tielli.

Ah yes, Martin Tielli… well, I don’t really know a lot about the Rheostatics, either as individuals or as a group. I do know that his set was long. Like, two-and-a-half hours, long. I liked the songs! The songs were fun. I wasn’t as fond of the parts where there was random singing and random drumming and random guitaring (?) and the thought seemed to be that if they played long enough, eventually they’d uncover some sort of pattern. Somewhere in this mess, there was an excellent 90-minute show waiting to be discovered.

I think I had more to say (likely, I was wondering why the guy at the next table felt the need to get up and come back like 50 times), but I’m very tired. Suffice to say that the show was interesting and all, but… I don’t know. I wouldn’t be in a huge hurry to catch a return show. Maybe it would have been better if we had actually seen the person we were there to see…

3 thoughts on “SLCR #61: Martin Tielli (March 23, 2002)

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