Tuesday, February 8, 2011
This is a special recording for me, as there are a lot of personal friends involved with the creation of it.
Let's start with Toronto promoter Gary Topp. He did the considerable amount of legwork involved, including recruiting the band, choosing an unsuitably named suitable venue, and selling the show. The band, for foreign readers, consists of Nilan Perera (electric and acoustic guitars),Rob Clutton (double bass),& Nick Fraser (percussion). These gentlemen are Canada's top-drawer improv players, with credentials up the wazoo. They rocked, rock, & will presumably continue to rock open crania everywhere.
The venue was an old Vaudeville/circus rehearsal space called The Centre Of Gravity, a venue as far removed from the trendy Queen/Bloor/College strip of Toranna night clubs as Corwood Industries is removed from oh say, Vice Records. Which meant no tourists/club trash/dog humpers & that's a good thing.
The show consisted of two one-hour sets, linked thematically. Smarter minds than myself have already broken down the verbal content in print, and that's 3/4's of what Jandek, as personified by the Corwood Representative a/k/a "Rep" , is all about. As a side note: I think the Corwood guy should start crediting himself as "Rep" . The handle has a nice hep feel to it & it's catchy. He could start showing up at Jazz sessions! I digress...
For this concert, "Rep" wielded a Korg synthesizer, albeit one which apparently didn't have the exact sonic pre-sets he was looking for. At the time, it seemed awkward, but listening to it now, especially on headphones, it all makes sense. Some dweebs in the audience complained about the Rep not playing his trademark, lonesome acoustic guitar. Those people missed the point: there is no fixed point of reference in the Corwood catalogue, save for the ones you read into it. I refer to Heraclitus "Doctrine of Flux" here
I - and my travelling companions - enjoyed ourselves sooo much we broke the reverent chin-stroking ambience of the gig with several, well-placed hoots n'whoops . That's us you hear on the disc. Which means we are a part of Jandek, now, and of course the disc gets five stars, *****. "You Betcha!"
The show was recorded on Sept.17th , 2008 @ 7 p.m. ("because that's the best time"). A mere 19 hours earlier & a 45-minute drive away, Simply Saucer reunited on the stage of the Corktown Tavern in Hamilton, their first appearance in more than 29 years. It was the late-70's Sparky Parks line-up, with ex-Moon Cricket, Forgotten Rebel drummist Joe Csontos on the skins. One thing led to another, and a working group evolved to record a new CD, Half Human, Half Live, some 18 months later. And yes, you could invoke "Herc" Heraclitus here , too, but I would argue Saucer never really went anywhere near the water. Live shows were critiqued at the time as sounding too "bar band-ish", i.e rote. I would argue that having to re-learn, (and for 3/5ths of the line-up learn the first time) material not played in close to 30 years would make anyone sound tentative. We'll find out soon enough: Feb. 20th, 2011 @ The Garrison, Toronto. For Hamilton, ON. readers mark down February 26th @ This Ain't Hollywood.
Meanwhile, hear what happens when Saucer sheds the stinkin' weight of its collective catalogue and just wings it...
The Toronto show, too, will be a Sunday show. They're the best...