Live music galleries: Sloan [2019]

(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Like my ‘Vinyl love’ series, these posts will be more photos than words but that doesn’t mean I won’t welcome your thoughts and comments. And of course, until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts of page.)

Sloan!!!!

Artist: Sloan
When: August 24th, 2019
Where: Hopped and Confused Festival, Mill Street Brewery, Ottawa
Context: While writing up yesterday’s words and putting together the photos summing up my experiences at this past weekend’s Hopped and Confused festival, I made the decision to give these guys their own post and gallery because… well… as our fellow blogger Aaron over at KMA would say, SLOAN!!! It’s actually unbelievable, even to me that, after over twenty five years of listening to this Canadian alternative rock band, I had yet to see them live. I had many chances*, of course, and the reasons are varied as to why I never took one of them. One such reason was that I wasn’t always a big fan. In fact, I hated them (strong word, I know, but I was young) with their first album and single, “Underwhelmed”, but they ended up winning me over with their next two records, still my favourites. Over the years since, I’ve alternated between loving their tunes and just enjoying them when heard on the radio. However, in the weeks leading up to this festival, I’ve been revisiting and getting more and more excited, the more I realized how many of their tunes I loved. And yes, they were very excellent live. They played a mix representing all the albums of their catalogue, hitting pretty much all the songs I would’ve wanted to hear, save one (a personal fave called, “Unkind”). Also, after so many years of listening to them, it’s been easy to take for granted how talented they are, but watching them live, as each of the four main members took their turns (Chris Murphy took care of the drums when Andrew Scott came to the front to lead his songs) singing the songs they contributed to the band’s body of work, was something else entirely. And man, doesn’t Chris Murphy look like he’s still having the time of his life up there!
Point of reference song: The good in everyone

Chris Murphy of Sloan
Jay Ferguson of Sloan
Andrew Scott of Sloan
Patrick Pentland of Sloan
Jay Ferguson of Sloan
Chris Murphy of Sloan
Patrick Pentland and Jay Ferguson of Sloan
Sloan

* One of these was to attend the filming of the video for “The lines you amend”, which happened at one of the large lecture halls at York university, the school I was attending at the time. However, it meant getting up super early, as I recall, and on the morning after a pub night. I wasn’t a morning person in those days so…

Vinyl love: Crash Test Dummies “The ghosts that haunt me”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Crash Test Dummies
Album Title: The ghosts that haunt me
Year released: 1991
Year reissued: 2019
Details: Black vinyl, reissue

The skinny: A couple of songs from this very album have already seen the light on these pages: the Winnipeg folk-rock band’s cover of The Replacements’ “Androgynous” and their first huge and at the time ubiquitous hit, “Superman’s song”. It was in that latter post that I went on about how I bought the cassette tape on the back of that song, how it spent a lot of time in my Walkman, and how I likely would’ve worn it out had it not been stolen first. I also mentioned how I would love to have it on vinyl and since that time, noticed that the Crash Test Dummies’ sophomore album, “God shuffled his feet”, was getting the reissue treatment. And yeah, it probably did better commercially but I was still partial to the debut so I held out. One day last month, I was scrolling through the Amazon Vinyl pre-orders list, as I sometimes do, and I found this sitting there for the taking. There was no hesitation. I received it a few days ago and it’s already hit my platter a few a go-rounds. Just like the old days.

Standout track: “The ghosts that haunt me”

Vinyl love: Metric “Old world underground, where are you now?”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Metric
Album Title: Old world underground, where are you now?
Year released: 2003
Year reissued: 2015
Details: Black vinyl

The skinny: So Metric is doing a show tonight at Ottawa’s TD Place with another Canadian indie rock success story, July Talk. I’m not going (though I’m sure it’ll be a great show). I’ve seen both bands live already and in the case of Metric, a couple of times. But it got me thinking about their humble beginnings during the hey day of Canadian indie rock and I thought I’d give their debut a spin. Metric is another band that I came across as a result of discussions with my friend Jez (whom I mentioned a few days ago in connection with Neutral Milk Hotel) and it’s with whom, I had a few chances to see the group live at some tiny, intimate clubs in Ottawa before they really hit it big. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of cash in those days and only finally got to see them live five or so years later at Bluesfest, circa 2009, with a larger crowd (though perhaps not as large as tonight). “Old world underground, where are you now?” is a very sturdy debut for an indie band with an ear for the past and hints for the future… And as my friend Mark might say, Emily Haines is a rock goddess.

Standout track: “Combat baby”