Gush: “Home” by Caribou

The new Caribou tune is incredible. There’s so much going on in it.

Plus a write up on the new song’s inspiration 1971 tune “Home” by Gloria Barnes. And the actual tune:

Check out this darling tweet that Dundas,ON band Caribou (aka Dan Snaith) posted:

Times I’ve seen the National pt two…

  1. April 2011 – Coachella, CA
  2. Nov 2011 – ACC
  3. Dec 2011 – Beacon Theatre, NY
  4. May 2013 – Sasquatch, WA
  5. Sept 2013 – Laneway, MI
  6. Mar 2014 – Massey Hall
  7. Mar 2014 – Massey Hall
  8. Mar 2014 – Massey Hall
  9. Sept 2014 – Riot Fest, TO
  10. Oct 2014 – Dream Serenade
  11. June 2015 – NXNE
  12. Nov 2015 – EL VY at the Opera House
  13. June 2016 – Hamilton Church
  14. June 2016 – Field Trip
  15. July 2015 – Eaux Claires Music Festival, WI
  16. Dec 2017 – Hamilton, ON
  17. Dec 2017 – Niagara Falls, NY
  18. Aug 2018 – Toronto, ON
  19. April 2019 – Toronto, ON
  20. June 2019 – Hamilton, ON

Gush: “Sisyphus” by Andrew Bird

Sisyphus was a cruel Greek king who was punished to push a large rock up on a steep hill, only to find it rolling back on nearing the top. Ever since, he has been known for pushing the rock tirelessly till eternity (source)

I’ve been internet searching all kinds of album titles this year. This sweet little tune is the best thing I’ve heard in a while. From it’s “Let it roll…” bit, which I feel may reference George Harrison’s “Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let it Roll)” and to the Radiohead “Karma Police”-type piano layer. And the bass line reference I can’t quite put my mind on (I will report back on this later). This song is lush, as Andrew Bird so often does, but it’s fast-spitted words makes it more exciting and different.

This is a keeper. The album drops next week. I’ve ordered multiple copies to my beautiful record store. 

Sarah Harmer on the Environment

I recall musician Sarah Harmer being an activist with the release of her concert and documentary film, The Escapement Blues. Great to see thirteen years later she’s still using her voice to make change.

Sarah warned: “We need to understand the threats in Bill 66 that concerned so many of us are the same that we have with the endangered species act review,”

Gush: “Ballad of El Goodo” by Big Star

Four minutes and twenty seconds of chills. I’ll never forget hearing this song for the first time at the Choir! Choir! Choir!/Jody Stephens event at the Great Hall.

The C!C!C! team had rehearsed the back up vocals to join in as Jody played this song. . They were also in the crowd and could actually sing, so it was a very welcome contribution. It was a delightful change up from singing “Thirteen” about one hundred times that evening

Times I’ve Seen the National play…

  1. April 2011 – Coachella, CA
  2. Nov 2011 – ACC
  3. Dec 2011 – Beacon Theatre, NY
  4. May 2013 – Sasquatch, WA
  5. Sept 2013 – Laneway, MI
  6. Mar 2014 – Massey Hall
  7. Mar 2014 – Massey Hall
  8. Mar 2014 – Massey Hall
  9. Sept 2014 – Riot Fest, TO
  10. Oct 2014 – Dream Serenade
  11. June 2015 – NXNE
  12. Nov 2015 – EL VY at the Opera House
  13. June 2016 – Hamilton Church
  14. June 2016 – Field Trip
  15. July 2015 – Eaux Claires Music Festival, WI
  16. Dec 2017 – Hamilton, ON
  17. Dec 2017 – Niagara Falls, NY

The National at FirstOntario Concert Hall; Sunday December 11, 2017

I did the big count this morning to realize that I’ve seen the National play seventeen times. That’s seventeen times across five American states and countless Toronto gigs.

I have seen them play a wide variety of settings, including:

  • Formal concert setting
  • Festival setting
  • Full-band charity benefit setting
  • Stripped-down charity benefit setting
  • Church show
  • Free show

Sunday’s Hamilton show was a formal concert – fancy light displays, jumbotron-type backdrops and the National’s trademark uniform, business casual attire. As the band ages, they adopt a more relaxed attire, although front-person, Matt Berninger, still black leather dress shoes. All other members seem a bit more relaxed – drummer Bryan Devendorf wore his usual trucker hat, but in highlighter yellow. The Dessners with their scrappy and wispy hair – Bryce’s just a bit more kept than Aaron’s.

Fashion aside, they played a dynamite set, comprised of mostly tunes from the darker, more monotone new album, Sleep Well Beast. They played a variety of songs from older albums, but showed no preference for their older catalogue. This tour, unlikely any other gig I’ve seen, had the agenda to promote the new material. At all past National gigs, I knew that I’d hear certain older songs. Thanks to extensive set list posting on their Instagram page, I sadly and excitedly had expectations that sets would vary and that new material would be in full swing.

Low – Very little from High Violet and Trouble Will Find Me; Despite being in the third row, the venue refused to let anyone into the front area of the stage. Everyone diligently stood on the ground floor as the National entered the stage.

High – Roomy floor section seats! When Berninger hopped into the audience for Mr. November, he knocked off Adam’s hat. I chuckled as my date was clothes-lined by my favourite band; the National’s pump up music prior to taking the stage was “Sadly Beautiful” by the Replacements and as they walked on the stage was “Shark Smile” by one of my favourites, Big Thief. I was in absolutely gleeful knowing that the National dug the same tunes that I do. I shamelessly sang along to the catchy chorus of the tune.