Skip to main content

If you’re curious whether or not Steely Dan blows, let me assure you that they do

Sarah wasn’t crazy about either of the two bands I wanted to see on Saturday—Elliott Brood and Steely Dan—so she took the night off and Isha subbed in. We got to the grounds close to seven o’clock and heard a bit of Ladytron as we were walking through the grounds. I don’t know if they are in fact lady robots, but they sounded like they might be (in an entirely awesome way, let me assure you). We snuck over to the other side of the War Museum to get to the Black Sheep stage. The Black Sheep had five bands from the same label (Six Shooter Records), who were going to end the night with a five-band hootenanny. We caught about three songs by Luke Doucet—and he was fantastic. I wish we saw more, really. I’m not the master of music genres, but I’m gonna go ahead and label his stuff alt-country. He plays some muscular guitar (someone else’s words, not mine, but I think they’re apt). Check out some of his stuff here. (Henceforth and retroactively, I’ll be including links to each band’s New Music Canada page—in the case that they’re Canadian).

We had some time to kill, had a drink and some food, and saw a few songs by Angelique Kidjo, who wikipedia tells me is an afropop/afrobeat artist. Good stuff, high energy. In the middle of her set she sang “Gimme Shelter” and some guy next to us instantly blazed up like he’d been waiting days for that very moment. After this, it was back to the Black Sheep for Elliott Brood. And they were awesome. They write short and catchy songs, play only acoustic instruments (with piles of distortion from time to time), and as Isha said, “They make a lot of noise for just three guys.” Check out that link. Give “Oh, Alberta” a listen. Great stuff.

And then, Steely Dan. Sheesh. I mean, I went in with low expectations, and I only knew about two songs, but they were boring regardless of either of those facts. And I know they’re ninety or whatever, but they’ve got about forty-five people on stage so it makes you expect… something. Something kind of interesting. But it was just slow jam, after slow jam, after slow jam. I didn’t get a sense that anyone there was a particular fan of the band. It was just three or four thousand people listening to the band so they could say they saw Steely Dan once. We wisely took off after four songs and went back to the Black Sheep stage to see the Six Shooter hootenanny, which was so, so, so much better. Along with the folks we’d seen there already were NQ Arbuckle, Justin Rutledge, and Christine Fellows. Highlights included Luke Doucet doing a song accompanied by with his wife and his daughter (both of them sultry, the latter alarmingly so as she was probably twelve years old; Justin Rutledge leading the musicians and the crowd in “Don’t Be So Mean, Jellybean”; and the whole crew singing “The Weight” for the finale. Great night.


Popular posts from this blog

Menopause-Themed Slot Machines = Awesome

We sleep in a little, then leave our bags with the bell desk and check out. Hauling ass to Cravings (the buffet at Mirage), we get there two minutes after the lunch prices come into play, but the cashier is a sweetheart and gives us breakfast prices anyways. There’s mediocre sushi, very good Chinese, and decent Italian, plus breakfast items which we avoid like the plague. After this, we head through Harrah’s and catch the monorail heading South. Having rocked the entire North end of the strip the day before, this last day is our chance to show the South end a good time, and not call it in the morning.

Popping into MGM, we have a second crack at Studio City. This time, it’s a preview for an animated show called Creature Comforts. Basic premise: the producers have gone out and interviewed everyday peeps on topics like Keeping Secrets, Health, Sexuality, etc. While the audio remains intact, in place of the actual speakers are claymation sequences featuring animals as the speakers. …
Sarah has taken on the job of homeschooling our kids this year. It's a decision she made for a variety of reasons. Because some of our kids needed more one-on-one support than they were getting at their
school. Because full-day kindergarten is an under-resourced, over-stuffed gong show. Because she was spending so much time volunteering at the school helping other people's kids when she could be more directly helping her own. And, fundamentally, because she felt called to do it.
I was nervous for her. There was absolutely no question she was capable of teaching the kids. She's an omnivorous learner, she's brilliant, and she can explain pretty much anything to anyone. What I was worried about was the weight of it all. We're playing it year-to-year, so it doesn't have to be a decade-long commitment, but even locking in for just one year is a tremendous responsibility. It's a full-time job and a half. And with the mix of ages between our kids, it&#…

New York 2017 - Day 1

For Sarah’s 40th birthday, I took her to New York City. I arranged a dream of a vacation, shouldering all of the planning and arrangements. All she had to do was show up and enjoy it! BWAHAHAHAHA! Just kidding – Sarah did all the planning because I’m a terrible husband! Okay, I’m a moderately okay husband, but I’m terrible at planning travel. Had I’d arranged things, it would have been like, “Honey, we’re going to New York City! It’s going to cost forty grand and we’ll only be there for three days. Also, we have to drive. But hey, NYC!”
We left Ottawa in the late morning, connected through Pearson, and got to Laguardia in the early afternoon. (This may be news to no one, but Laguardia is a surprisingly ugly airport. I'm always amazed when major, modern American cities have run-down airports. See also: LAX.) Our hotel was The Belvedere, which had a totally excellent location in Hell's Kitchen a few blocks away from the theatre district. The hotel itself was a little wor…