Monday, October 23, 2006
Since so much of my waking life (and some of my sleeping) is spent looking forward to the next live show I'll be at, last Monday was a major anomaly. When I woke that morning I'd never have imagined that in a few short hours I'd be in front of one of the bands that had long been on my 'must see' list: Canada's Broken Social Scene. No time for growing impatience, no build up, no pre-show listening binges... I learn about the show and next thing ya know, I'm right there.
I'd been out of town when BSS played Boston's Avalon last year, so when their current two-week tour was announced without an area date, I was more than a bit bummed. Seeing them became even more vital upon learning that this could be their last tour for a long, long while, at least in the current (ever-rotating) incarnation. Recent interviews aren't clear on what kind of band will emerge from the hiatus cocoon they're about to enter.
So last Monday, when an upcoming.org notification said that, waitaminute, Broken Social Scene would be playing just a few miles west at Brandeis University that very night?, I trusted but verified: Nope, no mention on the BSS site. Nope, not even on their label's tour listings. Hmmm. Check the Brandeis site. Ahhh, there we go. Hot diggity damn.
And so it was that me, Ashley, Susanne, and Ryan ended up out in Waltham for the first night of their tour, surrounded by students and suffering through a painful dub-reggae DJ opener. Do Make Say Think was scheduled to play first, but for some reason couldn't make it... better silence than what we got instead. But it made the eventual on-stage appearance of a stripped-down BSS even more fulfilling (only with this Canadian collective can seven members be considered "stripped-down"). Kevin Drew (vocals/guitar/keys), Brendan Canning (bass), Amy Millan (vocals), Andrew Whiteman (guitar), Charlie Spearin (guitar/horn), Justin Peroff (drums), and, uh, another guy (David?) on horns & percussion, straight off their big honkin' Canadian tour bus.
Here's the set...
Broken Social Scene
Live at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA
Monday, October 16th, 2006
01. Intro / Fire Eye'd Boy
02. 7/4 (Shoreline)
03. Cause = Time
04. Stars and Sons
05. Late Nineties Bedroom Rock for the Missionaries
06. Shampoo Suicide
08. Anthems For A 17 Year-Old Girl
09. Almost Crimes
10. Major Label Debut
12. Looks Just Like the Sun
14. Ibi Dreams of Pavement
15. The Wagon (Dinosaur Jr. cover)
16. KC Accidental
While there were some first-night kinks, a few between-song technical glitches, it never impacted the band's enthusiasm or performance... they pushed through some funky monitor mixes and reverby vocal weirdness to give a great set full of dynamic ups and downs, beautiful lulls between powerfully moving moments. It lived up to all I'd read and then some (and hey, bonus Dinosaur Jr. cover). And while I can cross them off the ol' must-see list, a drive down to Providence on November 8th is looking likely...
Some BSS links...
the fine print... If anyone has an issue with this live set being made available, just say the word (contact info in the 'nac faq). Recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps mp3s. Mp3s are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.
A couple of asides, as long as I'm posting today...
It's a slightly notable time in the blog-centric world, in that my Boston blogging neighbor rbally just decided to fold up the tent at his live-music sharing site. Apparantly Jennings has a real life to live (do I ever relate), but hey, so long and thanks for all the songs, and best of luck.
Another not-as-drastic decision was made by Frank over at Chromewaves, who remarkably hit consecutive post number 1,001 today, and will from here on out post more like a normal person instead of a obsessive freak (meaning not every damn day of the year). My heart skipped a beat when he wrote the words "I quit" in today's commemorative post, but thankfully it's just the grueling schedule he's leaving behind... I'd get the shakes if he ever abandoned my favorite blog for good. Congrats on the streak, sir.
And finally, on such a somber note... this past Saturday, October 21st, marked three years since the day the world lost Elliott Smith. His death hit me harder than the loss of any artist I've ever loved, and I still find it tough to listen to him without imagining what he'd be writing if he was still around. I'll always wonder. Sigh.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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