So, a few days ago, I barfed in a post about some of the pros and cons of going to concerts. And then we went to a concert (SADIES FTW!). So I thought I’d go back through my post and see how this show matched up. Thoughts are in italics in the (bolded) original text (because I am lazy)…:
You know, in a way, concerts are rather silly. This one wasn’t! It was awesome.
You spend extra money Truly not a problem, for seeing this band.
and set aside an entire evening to go out of your house not gonna lie, we needed to get out so bad.
and be amongst the masses who’ll mostly likely talk through the whole damn thing, check their cellphones non-stop, chew with their mouths open and probably get drunk and sloppy OK so this happened, in fact one drunk guy kept coming close to elbowing my lovely wife in the head several times and looked at us like we were the jerks when we calmly asked him to move, meanwhile he and his buddies stood right over us and had a shouted conversation throughout several songs but then stopped talking when the band stopped playing ASSHOLES… though eventually they got the hint and moved off, so um, yay?,
just to hear a band reproduce songs that you could reproduce yourself from their album anytime you choose – in your house, in your car, from your phone or iPod. I’ve seen several bands who did this, and I came away wondering why I didn’t just play the CD… Except, as J. correctly pointed out, the Sadies are on another level performing live. Their CDs are great, and their live show is just that much greater, so this was definitely not a re-tread experience.
Very often (for me) concerts are too loud to the point where the sound isn’t even pleasurable to listen to, breaking up and distorted. Admittedly, for certain types of concerts like punk or metal shows, that makes sense and can be fun (with earplugs), but more often, I find it would be better if it was slightly, reasonably quieter. At least, not crush-your-chest and head loud. Loud for the sake of being loud. This show was at a reasonable volume that suited the room and the music, so it was fine (even without earplugs).
Also, for me, most decent shows require at least two hours of travel to a larger city, so it’s not just the expense of the ticket itself, it is the expense of time, gas money, food money and, depending on where and at what time the show is, possibly hotel money as well. It is a planned event beyond just stopping by to check it out. Not to mention we’d need to arrange childcare, and make sure that it isn’t a work night. This one was right here in our town, ten minutes from our home!
So you commit to going somewhere, usually at expense, and being jostled by other people, to hear songs you’ve already heard at a volume that hurts. The mild introvert in me finds all of this very tiring. The mild introvert in me was fine with most of the evening, except for the drunken louts. They really could have tried harder. They’re also harder to take when you’re not drinking yourself. It’s been four years since I had a drink, and I suppose after a couple it might’ve been easier going, but through sober eyes they were just sad and annoying.
On the other side of the coin, concerts are special because very often bands don’t merely reproduce the songs as you hear them on the album. The best bands make the song recognizable, yet they will add solos, or change the words, or make the song shorter or longer, or even blend songs together that you hadn’t previously considered putting together. They will also play cover tunes, and talk to the crowd and tell jokes and stories, making it a worthwhile experience because it’s stuff you wouldn’t otherwise get. This was absolutely the case at this Sadies show.
If you enjoy merchandise, you can get T-shirts, hats, pins, CDs and whatever else. There was a stuff table. CDs were $15, LPs were $20. Pretty sure the t-shirts were $30 or $35. I didn’t buy anything but the prices seemed reasonable. There didn’t seem to be more than a few albums on display, so I don’t know if there were more in a box, available on request, or if that was all they brought with them.
If you enjoy meeting the people who make the music, sometimes you can get lucky and hang around after the show and meet them, although myself I’m more often tend to not do that than the times that I do. We did not stick around after the show ended, as it was nearing midnight and we had to get back and let our babysitter off the hook. There’s a very good chance, though, that if we’d hung around we might’ve met one or all of the band. They didn’t seem too inclined to be rushing out of the building.
Plus it is simply a night out and doing something, just different than the usual routine and sometimes that’s just what the doctor ordered. OMG this, for sure. We don’t often go out, just the two of us, and usually that’s fine. But it sure was nice, on this occasion!
Looks like, in this case, the Sadies win the Pros column easily, and easily disarm the Cons side as well. This was a show well worth it in (just about) every way. Thank you, Sadies. Come back again soon! And go to Glasgow – J. demands it! 🙂
On 1998-11-04, my lovely wife and I had our first date. So, hopeless romantic geeks that we are, every year we acknowledge that date in some small way. Of course, last November (2018-11-04) was 20 years since our first date. Accordingly, we said ‘hey, we oughta do something, like actually go out on a date and enjoy.’ Great idea!
Fast forward to this past Thursday night, our first real opportunity to get out just the two of us. Now, as the parents of two small children, a delay of 5 months is normal, right?
Anyway. This all came about because, one day, I noticed the concert poster bill (below) and I said to my lovely wife, ‘Hey look, the SADIES!’ and she said ‘We’re going!’ and so we got tickets that day. The gig became our plan to get out for the night!
So, first we went out for dinner, and then hit up the Heartwood Hall for the sold out Sadies concert. Life is grand!
Sharp-eyed KMA Readers will recall that the Heartwood is the same venue in which we saw Danny Michel perform last year. It’s an event space above the store (of the same name) on our main street. The acoustics are great and, even when full, it mustn’t hold that many people, maybe 200? I dunno, not many. This time around, a good amount of floor space in front of the stage was left empty for dancing.
At some point in the evening, I texted myself key words so I could write this review of the gig when I got home. That I am finishing this a couple of days later makes me even more glad I sent this. I kind of like it as it is, so here’s the text, verbatim:
Sadies raucous rocking swinging country punk jamming shifting time signatures tones moods tempos glorious sway fearless abandon infectious energy bare kuckles roadhouse barroom brawl gorgeous twang musical prowess varied Canadiana masterpiece with dancers and so goddamn tight yet relaxed about it all hot damn this fucking rules
There’s an easy swagger to what the Sadies do, but it belies the absolute control and energy that these four players possess. They are locked tight in the pocket at all times, yet there’s still that feeling of room to move, create, push the music forward. It’s easy to focus on the guitar pyrotechnics and the vocal differences between the Good brothers (Dallas and Travis), but to watch Mike Belitsky on the drums was, for me, a dream, and Sean Dean on the upright bass was unassuming but playing with style, panache, and holding the whole damn thing together like a boss. It’s a battery team par excellence.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better gig this year. These guys are amazing.
I noticed Dallas had two Telecasters, a red one which seemed to be his main instrument, and a blonde Tele with his name right on the fretboard under the strings, which he only played for a couple of songs. Travis had what looked like a Gibson 335 or maybe a Gretsch, I didn’t get close enough to see for sure.
You could tell the band was having a blast and, several times, Dallas made sure to mention that they really loved the room at the Heartwood (they’ve played here before), and they surely didn’t take for granted how welcomed they felt and how much they were enjoying the whole thing. He also took a wild stab at what people from this town call themselves, and he got it right first guess: Owen Sounders. He loved that, and stayed with it until blurting, “that’s, like, the best band name ever!” He’s not wrong.
Most Sadies songs are short, tight manifestos of awesome (and as my text to myself shows, they’re varied and amazing). As such, they blasted through a ton of brilliant songs, over the course of the evening. No one has posted the setlist on setlist.fm as of this writing, so the actual list will have to wait until some kind soul tells us for sure (I’ll post it if it ever does appear). I’m gonna guess we heard over 30 songs though, because the show was well over two hours long, and their intermission was short. I know!
As they neared the end, Dallas said they were gonna play four more songs and then wrap it up. They blasted through those four songs (including It’s Nothing To Me, which I was waiting to hear ‘cos I love it), set down their instruments and made to leave. Not long after, it was decided they’d play two more songs and then end the gig. After those two songs were done, same deal and a decision to play one more song, which they did, and then that was, finally, the end of the gig. You could just tell they were loving every minute, soaking up the fun and the love and they, like us, didn’t want it to be over.
Folks, if the Sadies play anywhere near your town, at any time, GO. Don’t even hesitate. They are so good, it’s a guaranteed great set. Just GO.
Happy date-iversary, indeed!
NB: Sorry, J., we didn’t get a chance to talk to the band after the show, as we had to go relieve our babysitter of duties (it was nearing midnight), so I didn’t get a chance to tell them about your hope for the band to come and perform in Glasgow. Who knows, maybe they’ll read this post and book a flight!
I snapped a couple of quick pics during the gig, with my phone, but I’m not gonna lie, I was having too much fun soaking in the music and the performance, so I didn’t take many. All apologies for the quality, it was an older iPhone in a darkened room:
A successful day in the big (sh)city for me and my Dad! Lots to tell, but it’s late, I did a lot of driving and walking (I’m tired) and there’s work and getting the kids to school in the morning… Still, the least I can do is report back on today’s adventures real quick…
Traffic was non-existant (Mike, our next trip should be on a Sunday!), the weather said rain but we got sunny and warm, and the city was alive with people and festivals and awesome.
Parked up at Bloor, saw that Honest Ed’s is gone. The signs are still there but the store is empty. End of an era. I hit up BMV and Dad went off and did his thing. I could have spent SO much in BMV, it’s crazy. Really quality stock, as always. I was thrilled to see they have turned all their CDs with spines up so you can scan the titles without flipping – an excellent development. I didn’t get a whole of time with the LPs, but they have a ton…
Here are my BMV Scores (all CD):
Soooo much greatness here, eh? Wowzers!
NB: The Iron & Wine, Chuck Brown/Eva Cassidy and Jeff “Tain” Watts came from the 3-for-$10 bin.
NB: I wish Watts had a song called “Bartók” on his Bar Talk album. Alas, he does not. Missed opportunity, that.
Dad and I then met at Paupers for lunch (awesome as always), and walked down through the Annex to Chinatown. Kensington Market was jammed with people, as some sort of Art Festival was going on. The whole area was blocked off to cars, and people were dancing and singing and doing things (one lady was a Poet For Hire. Give her money and a topic, and she would type you out a new poem on the spot on her old Underwood). I hit up Sonic Boom while Dad went off and did his thing.
My Sonic Boom Scores (all CD):
Holy mackerel, what a pile of awesome! And again, as is always the case with Sonic Boom, several of these were either $0.99 or $2.99. And I could have spent soooo much more in there, too. I had a basket full and made myself go through and put stuff back. It was painful.
NB: The Buddy Guy is a high school nostalgia grab for me. I loved that set then, and I bet I will now.
NB: The 10,000 Maniacs was one I said I’d watch for when I put Quit on the three records of theirs I have (during their All The Everything series post, a while back). And here it is! It’s a hits disc and a rarities disc together. Right on.
NB: Granelli is a jazz drummer. DJ Stinkin’ Rich is a Buck 65 alias. Oh baby.
NB: The Evens includes Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi). With my three (3!) Fugazi scores at BMV as well, it was an Ian MacKaye kind of day.
NB: Though it was new CD full price, the Cowboy Junkies had to come home. Check out who guests on it: Skydiggers, Sarah Harmer, Hawksley Workman, Jason Collett, Doug Paisley, Lee Harevy Osmond, The Good Family, Martin Tielli & Dave Clark, The Screwed, Reid Jamieson, Harlan Pepper, Jessy Bell Smith, The Potion Kings, Ivy Mairi… Wow!
NB: The Greg MacPherson… I texted James did he need it, it was only $0.99. Nope, he had it already and likes it alot, said I should get it for myself and if I didn’t like it, he would give me $0.99. Challenge accepted!
NB: The Jam tribute is cool. Yes, it has Oasis twats on it, but it has Beastie Boys too so that makes it all better.
So then we walked back up to the car, blasted out of town. Quick bite to eat in Orangeville (watching some of the Memorial Cup hockey game on TV – Windsor beat Erie 4-3), then home.
And there you have it. A busy day encapsulated in one short-ish post. You’ll see all of these albums in the All The Everything series, eventually. At least now you know from whence they came. Also, sad to report I did not find one single Grail List item for anyone. Sorry, folks. I tried! I really did (the list was in my phone)! Ah well, next time.
More BMV goodness!
The 5th Annual Toronto Expedition Series, Part 4 (CD)
This 2013 effort from the incredible Sadies is every damn inch as amazing as anything else by them I’ve ever heard.
There’s a magic to their efforts, a professional ease with which they nimbly blast through country, rock, surf, folk, psychedelia, you name it.
And this record gives more tastes of their best flavours. The guitar picking is incredible, the instrumentals are fun, they can twang with the best of them. And Buffy Sainte-Marie joins on the last track!
Here’s another sweet, sweet BMV score!
The 5th Annual Toronto Expedition Series, Part 3 (CD)
As you could surely write about every Sadies record, here’s another stellar, strong effort! The songs glide between that sweet swing country, rock, and folk.
The ballads soar, there’s plenty of full-on twang, and then there’s Choosing To Fly, an odd-sounding little gem too. Highlight track for me was opener Another Year Again, typical Sadies until the mid-point rock-out!
The music is always stellar, and the lyrics are strong too. These guys are the real deal, no question.
Here’s another BMV score…
The 5th Annual Toronto Expedition Series, Part 2 (CD)
This one rocks while sticking close to its country roots. Every track is beautifully-realized Sadies gorgeousness. You know that sound – those restless guitars all over the damn place, the battery holding it together…
Tracks ache beautifully (Sunset To Dawn), or bleed folk (Yours To Discover*), some are almost pop (Never Again), a few tease rock and roll.. but they never forget their roots, and their brand of swing country pleases with such aplomb. This is a complete record.
* This is a fun travelling song, aptly-titled as Yours To Discover is the motto on Ontario’s vehicle license plates.
The Taranna Was Hot Series: Part 15/25
IT’S EPIC FRICKIN’ REVIEW TIME, FOLKS!!
In looking up this record, I noticed that there’s no easy place on the internet to get accurate and complete track listings, album sources, and guest players on these tracks. So, as a public service, I have done my best to include as much information as I can, here (below, after my blathering).
Alright, brace yourselves!
First off, let me just say I love the Sadies. So much great music, and so uniquely themselves in sound and attack. I just love it. So, this one was a no-brainer. It was sitting right at the front of a row of discs on the shelves at BMV, a mere $7.99 for 2CDs. As you read on, you’ll see just how awesome it all is, and how criminally under-priced this package was!
Recorded live at Lee’s Palace in Toronto, February 3 & 4th, 2006, this set contains amazing songs and a long list of guest artists, enough to make you drool…
Check it out: Bob Egan, Bruce Good, Brian Good, Larry Good, Margaret Good, Garth Hudson, Kelly Hogan, Heavy Trash: Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray, Andre Ethier, Jon Langford (Mekons), Neko Case, Paul Rigby, Gary Louris (Jayhawks), Mike Bulington, Rick White, Greg Keelor, Jim Cuddy, Bob Packwood, Bazil Donovan, Maud Hudson, and Gavin Brown…
And they’re playing songs off the Sadies’ own records, and well as albums by Neko Case, Heavy Trash, Flat Duo Jets, Canadian Squires, The Band, The Jayhawks, Pink Floyd, The Unintended, Blue Rodeo, Roger Miller, and The Mekons…
And several tracks here are previously unreleased!
Strap yourself in, folks, as I wade my way through all the brilliance…
CD1 (21 tracks)
This disc concerns itself with Sadies tracks from their own albums. I don’t own them all, so can’t really tell you how they compare to the studio tracks, but the live versions kick ass.
Cheat’s a great western instrumental at a quick clip. Why Be Curious? is pure Sadies doing mid-tempo Blue Rodeo, yet still sounding inimitably like themselves! In fact, going forward, any time I mention sounding like another band, they do sound like that, but also themselves. Cool? Cool.
1000 Cities Falling Apart Pt.1 is classic old school country with those great low vocals and that western movie soundtrack sound. Rat Creek is instrumental country surf, Song Of The Chief Musician Pt.2 rocks 50s-style with that sweet twang. Love the crash ending.
16 Mile Creek blasts by at 1000mph, whoa! Taller Than The Pines is pure Buddy Holly country. Loved it. Lay Down Your Arms is another instrumental, like a country Misirlou. Higher Power takes off on a spiritual party track complete with banjo, Uncle Larry’s Breakdown keeps that banjo pickin’ like crazy and is pure hoe down dancin’ music. Eastern Winds has that high lonesome sound.
Stay A Little Longer quick-steps through another great hoe down dancer, double-time. Loved the lap steel solo. Northumberland West rocks out with that inimitable and incredible guitar work for which the Sadies are well-known. Actually, the guitars are all over this record, so good! Wow.
Lonely Guy’s sweet 50s sock hop slow dance sway is just gorgeous. The fuzzy guitar solo gives it great edge, and the vocals pick up on it. Brilliance! Snow Squad rocks out another instrumental with that great twang, then switches gears mid-track to become a bright and surf sound before combining the two feels by the end. Leave Me Alone has great full-on vocals growling a warning to steer clear while the band jams away with equal menace and joy behind him. What a track! Ridge Runner Reel eases us back gently… then kicks it up double-time! Then faster! And faster! And faster! What brilliant guitar playing, my goodness. Sit down, son, the grown-ups are showing us how it’s down.
1,000,002 Songs is a superb rocker about marital dischord, wonderful duet vocals. Dying Is Easy brings back that western swing with duet vocals that match the guitar line. An instrumental evocative of western movies and wide-open desert landscapes, Tiger Tiger kicks itself up into a stomper that’s built for dancing and partying. What a way to end CD1!
CD2 (20 tracks)
This disc features a metric ton of guests. So, rather than type out their names every time, feel free to check out the list of players after this disc’s summary. I mean, it’s crazy all the players who are here on CD2 (as if CD1 wasn’t awesome enough). Anyway, I’ll try to keep it briefer than listing all the time…
Back Off has soul shout crowd raising over a George Thorogood-style riff while the band gets introduced. Then he sings over that riff as it morphs into an early Stones-sounding tune. Justine Alright punks out ramones-style via Chuck Berry… I know! So cool. Talking Down keeps that early Stones bluesy 60s vibe.
American Pageant rocks up a bit while keeping the blues fuzzin’. Strange Birds brings back that gorgeous Blue Rodeo country sound. Home is a sweet country swing. Hold On, Hold On haunts us over a cool rocking surf country tune. Damn.
Evangeline is a glorious slow, shambling dancer. Tailspin Neil Young’s us with its own brand of rock. Oh my goodness this set is just owning it! Wow! A Good Flying Day country picks us through its shuffle. Lucifer Sam sounds like spy movie music, with some rock thrown into it via the Cramps, or something. Yeah!
Another Day is a cool tune but doesn’t quite fit this mix somehow. It’s an interesting wall of sound, though! All Passed Away brings things back a bit with its easy going rockin’ blues. The Story’s Often Told is a great country sweeper with those deep vocals. I love their tracks like this! You’re Everywhere picks up the pace a lot and country jams its way along with aplomb. This is just a great tune, of course. Within A Stone is another Blue Rodeo-styled tune, a slow dancer about life being tough. Gorgeous! Food, Water, Etc. has a cool blues stomp and shows off a lot of greatness. What a huge sing-along fun tune!
And then it’s the encore:
Jason Fleming is another swingin’ surf -like tune. Jason sounds like he needs to slow down haha! Her Love Made Me has that Jon Spencer Blues Explosion sound with country in the mix too. Memphis, Egypt (Eagle Bauer’s Rock & Roll) ends the night with big bashing rock-out guitar picking and a huge sound. The crowd cheering wildly at the end of this is absolutely justified!
No word of a lie (and I bought a lot of greatness in Taranna last trip), but this is easily THE SCORE of my Taranna foray. Honestly, mind = blown! I could go on endlessly about all of the greatness here, but in the interests of saving you having to read a zillion pages of my raving, I can sum it up like this:
Super-cool guest artists.
What a great live set.
And now, here’s my bit as public service for the internets:
Album Source And Guest Information
CD1 (21 tracks)
Why Be So Curious (Pt. III)*
1,000 Cities Falling (Pt. I)* [f. 1]
Song Of The Chief Musician (Pt. I)*
16 Mile Creek^
Taller Than The Pines**
Lay Down Your Arms%
Higher Power^ [f. 2,3,4,5]
Uncle Larry’s Breakdown** [f. 2,3,4]
Eastern Winds^ [f. the Good Family]
Stay A Little Longer (Duncan/Wills) [f. 1,2,3,4]
Lonely Guy@ [f. 6]
Snow Squad~ [f. 6]
Leave Me Alone& [f. 6]
Ridge Runner Reel! [f. 6]
1,000,002 Songs! [f. 6, 7]
Dying Is Easy~ [f. 5, 6, 7]
Tiger Tiger% [f. 2,5,7]
CD2 (20 tracks)
Back Off** [f. 8]
Justine Alright# [f. 8]
Talking Down^ [f. 8, 9]
American Pageant` [f. 10]
Strange Birds` [f. 1, 10]
Home- [f. 1,7,11]
Hold On, Hold On## [f. 7,11]
Evangeline!! [f. 6,11,12]
Tailspin@@ [f. 1,4,7,11,13]
Good Flying Day* [f. 13]
Lucifer Sam$$ [f. 13, 14]
Another Day%%** [f. 15,16]
All Passed Away%%** [f. 15,16]
The Story’s Often Told% [f. 1,16,17,18,19]
You’re Everywhere^^ [f. 1,16,17,18,19]
Within A Stone% [f. 1,5,16,17,18,19]
Food, Water, Etc.** [f. 1-20]
Jason Fleming&& [f. 6, 11]
Her Love Made Me** [f. 8]
Memphis, Egypt++ [f. 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 19, 21]
Guest Stars [f.]
1 Bob Egan
2 Bruce Good
3 Brian Good
4 Larry Good
5 Margaret Good
6 Garth Hudson
7 Kelly Hogan
8 Heavy Trash: Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray
9 Andre Ethier
10 Jon Langford (Mekons)
11 Neko Case
12 Paul Rigby
13 Gary Louris (Jayhawks)
14 Mike Bulington
15 Rick White
16 Greg Keelor
17 Jim Cuddy
18 Bob Packwood
19 Bazil Donovan
20 Maud Hudson
21 Gavin Brown
~ Precious Moments
* Favourite Colours
^ Pure Diamond Gold
% Stories Often Told
! Tremendous Efforts
` Mayors Of The Moon
– My Uncle Used To Love Me But She Died
@ Flat Duo Jets – Lucky Eye
& Canadian Squires 7”
** previously unreleased
# Heavy Trash – Heavy Trash
## Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
!! Band – The Last Waltz
@@ Jayhawks – Rainy Day Music
$$ Pink Floyd – Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
%% The Unintended
^^ Blue Rodeo – Casino
&& Roger Miller – Decca 45rpm
++ Mekons – The Mekons Rock ’n’ Roll LP