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SLCR #152 – Odds – June 26, 2010

Another day, another long-delayed review for a show that, apart from whining about feeling old, I have very little to talk about. At least, unlike some recent shows, I’m not making up for my wasted youth – I actually saw the Odds back when they were… I was going to say relevant, but that sounds mean. Not inaccurate, just mean. Back when they had hits on the radio, and videos with members of Kids in the Hall. They played at Louis’ and I probably had chicken fingers because that was what we did back then, and the Odds were distracted by WCW Monday Nitro playing (a day late) on the TVs at the back of the bar.

Not too long after that – or maybe it was, I can’t tell, time passes quickly now – the Odds broke up. Craig Northey put out a solo album and it was fine. Eventually, three members of the Odds reunited (along with a member of the Tragically Hip and a member of Doug and the Slugs; it was not Doug so I presume it was a slug) as Stripper’s Union and they put out an album and it was fine. Then the three former Odds got a new guitarist and the New Odds started popping up on tours. They put out an album. It was fine. And now they’re touring again, just as the Odds (though with the same three-of-the-four lineup as the New Odds). And that’s about the past 15 years in the life of the Odds.

As I am procrastinating in the name of research, Wikipedia tells me that I missed two other Odds-related bands and at least one album along the way. I might have known that stuff back when it happened. I kinda just forgot about the Odds, really. This might be a common thing. When I saw the first ad for this show and I told some people at work about it, Chad had to look them up to see if he knew any of their songs. Turns out their album "Nest" was one of his favourites back when it first came out.

So Mika and I and a few work people headed out to the Distrikt for a concert specially designed for old people. The poster promised that the Odds would play all our favourite hits, and the show had a special early start time. This made me happy.

Before the show started, we joked about potential opening acts, hoping for another Canadian rock band of similar vintage. I brought up Jet Set Satellite and See Spot Run, but I should have been aiming a bit earlier. Mika, more knowledgeable than I, suggested bands I’d never heard of. Whoever was picking the music in the bar inadvertently tried to help jog our memories by playing songs from Sloan, Barenaked Ladies, Big Sugar, and 54-40 – though I think the Odds would be opening for all of those and not the other way around.

Instead, it was a band called The Extroverts. My first thought about the Extroverts was "they are loud and old." In-depth reporting and analysis, here. One of our group said "so this is what happens when punks get old?" It turns out that, yes, this is exactly what happens when punks get old. The Extroverts are a Regina punk band from the early 80s. The lead singer wore sunglasses, then threw then into the crowd, then got more sunglasses out of his bag. The masking tape X on his back was falling off. Their manager is named Colonel 3-D Burns. The drummer’s name is Hap Hazzard, and the internet tells me that he now runs the sound at the casino show lounge. Apart from a cover of I Fought The Law, they treated us to originals like Fungus Man, Political Animals, and (My Home Town is a) Nuclear Meltdown. This was something that everyone should experience at least once. Luckily, they have free MP3s at theextroverts.com and videos at youtube.com/theextroverts.

When the music started up in the bar between acts, the first song was by Jet Set Satellite. Yessss.

The Odds, who are really the New Odds, sound much like the original Odds. This is a good thing. The Odds definitely had their sound, and it hasn’t changed. The new guitarist can really play and fits right in musically, though it’s amusing how much he stands out otherwise. I’m not sure he’d be old enough to remember when the hits were hits.

And yet, as advertised, all of their hits got played, with the omission of a few of the downers. I guess Wendy Under The Stars or I Would Be Your Man aren’t really good party songs. But aside from those, we got all of the songs that you’d know from the radio, assuming you listened to the radio in Canada fifteen or twenty years ago. If you’re the right age and from the right place, you already know what songs they played. If not, you most likely don’t care. I will say that Love Is The Subject was a lot better live – I’d never really cared for the song before.

In between the greatest hits, we got a few songs off their newest album, Cheerleader, including That Song From The Closing Credits of Corner Gas. They also played That Song From The Opening Credits Of Corner Gas. The band was also very chatty between the songs, more than I remember them being. And not even about the monster Meng this time.

And that’s about it. No drunken shenanigans, nobody standing right in front of me, and when the place got too warm they opened the doors to cool it down a bit. Very little in the way of storytelling material. Just a night out rediscovering a band I used to like and remembering why I liked them so much in the first place.

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