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Saint John

    Saint John recently is busling with activity in its 
indie/local scene.  The clubs and bars are opening their doors (and 
let's hope cheque books as well) to live bands without the "covers 
only" policy (although some covers can be cool, let me never again 
hear "sweet home alabama" and Tragically Hip songs).  

Jesus walked on water, Katrina and the Waves walked on sunshine, 
Piggins thrash waltzed on air...

    Last Wednesday (speaking of the Hip in association with covers), 
the Aquarius tavern along with CRSJ hosted the MORGANFIELDS and the 
HEADSTONES' "Shattered Headlights and Broken Ribs Tour".  The opening 
act, the HEADSTONES, were a carnal disappointment.  They released, 
prior to the show, their cover of the Travelling Wilburys' song 
"Tweeter and the Monkeyman". The obscure choice of cover and its 
execution were wonderful, but the mystery soon died away when I found 
a lost punk ethic to be all that really bared itself under the covers 
[or at least a Billy Idol impersonator who spits very well].  And 
to my horror even before the stage had become a spitoon, the 
HEADSTONES did a cover of "new orleans is sinking".  
The MORGANFIELDS on the other hand, were Excellent.  Their line-up 
was composed mainly of *Thrash Waltz* songs, but they did perform 
some from *Scribblehead*. The metamorphosis of "Taxi Ride" from an 
acoustic and folky song to a hard-edged song layered with feedback 
was the most interesting critical revisiting or re-vision; the song 
was adopted to the sound that is characteristic of *Thrash Waltz*.  
Piggins' imagistic lyrics, his chaotic experimentation with feedback, 
well timed melody and at times Cobain-esque vocals were well 
supported by the talented Bassist and Drummer.  The album reflects 
the spirit of the live show for the most part (characterized by a 
building intensity, numerous changes within songs and haunting or 
surging bursts of feedback) as is seen in their first 
release "Up the Ladder" and title track "Thrash Waltz" as well as 
"Bill" and Let it Happen".  However, the album may be 
misrepresented by the live show; it has treasures and is designed or 
ordered in a similar fashion to 13 Engines' *Perpetual Emotion 
Machine" or Pearl Jam's *Vs* and to a lesser degree Eric's Trip's 
*Love Tara* in its mix of softer, more passive acoustic tracks among 
the hard-edged and distorted tracks.  Enough said, the show is great, 
the music is excellent and the energy is high (especially with 
Piggins going completely nuclear as he runs on air; they had to 
reposition the stage several times throughout the show).  If they 
come to your city get out and see them (one plus of the HEADSTONES as 
headliners: you could leave early).  If they don't come within your 
vacinity then listen to the album because this `power' trio "...Ain't 
Flipping Burgers No More".

    Anyway back to the immediate topic... Saint John.  An all-ages 
bar called the "Local" has begun to host live and original bands on 
weekends.  I haven't been to any of the shows yet, but tomorrow night 
(Saturday, 19 February, 1994) I'll be there to see local bands: 
Sister Sorrow, Playdough Fish, Stay and a few others.  I expect it 
will be a great show.  If you live or are visiting the area stop in 
and explore, it is only $3.00 and you get a basket of GREAT talent.
The Local is located on King Street in uptown Saint John (80 King 
Street, I think), at the top of the hill towards the square and it is 
hidden in an alcove.

    A bar called Klancy's (dumb name) on Rothesay Ave. (in the 300's), 
in the same building that the Hideaway used to be in (now called 
Middlehouse Pub), hosts an alternative night every Wednesday night.  
They say live band or DJ, but so much talent in the area and so 
little exposure (or opportunity granted) usually means a live, 
original band.  This week on Wednesday, 23 February, 1994 PAWNSHOP 
are playing.  

    And as much as I hate to mention it (for purely selfish reasons; 
I'm not there) ERIC'S TRIP are playing in Fredericton's Boyce's 
Farmers' Market tonight with Fredericton's own MONA and KAREN FOSTER. 
It is a strange place to see a band like an airplane hangar or a 
Viking longhouse (I saw MYSTERY MACHINE, SMEARED and D.O.A there.  
The poor attendance created an echo and its length made the building 
seem very vacant...regardless MYSTERY MACHINE were supreme)... the 
show will be great anyway the Trippers have enough energy to people 
the place themselves.  

"I have been studying how I may compare 
This prison where I live unto the world:...
My brain I'll prove the female to my [guitar];
My [guitar] the father:..." ---King Richard II

                                            Until next time,