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two great gigs in a row

reviews:  REBECCA WEST + leonard conan + al tuck \!/ birdland thursday apr 20
          CHANGE OF HEART + coyote + sunfish \!/ birdland friday apr 21

AL TUCK took the stage by himself this time, so it was sort
of al tuck and even less action, if you can accept my math.
anyways, he only did a handful of songs:  a new one plus
a handful of standards, including an interesting version of
"one day the warner."  during the set i said to scott, "you
know, al tuck is the only musician i know who can do 
unrecognizable covers of his own songs and still have it
make sense."  of course i used the phrase "make sense"
advisedly.  anyways, that's the fun of an al tuck set,
watching him figure out his songs all over again.  from
that point of view he's even more fascinating without a band
backing him.

LEONARD CONAN *rocked*!  holy cow, they were heavy.  i've
never seen them rock so hard, although i remember them doing
motorhead covers before.  talk about a re-energized band.
they have a cassette out called "bringing home the bacon bits."
it's a full-length ten-song thing.  i haven't got a copy yet
but when i get my hands on it i'll be sure to review it for
sloan net.   

REBECCA WEST put on what was easily their most enjoyable
halifax show so far.  the show was supposed to be their
CD release but unfortunately the discs hadn't arrived yet,
so they were only selling cassettes at the gig.  there was,
however, plentiful cinnamon toast to be had.  :-)  yum.
the band seemed really psyched, and allison seemed like she
was actually in a good mood.  that was really nice for a
change.  i really don't like allison's cranky routine, i
find it really tiresome.  she also has a tendency to try
to cajole people into standing up and dancing, even though
almost all of her songs are long and slow/mid-tempo.  i
really love this band's music and i like to just sit
cross-legged on the dance floor and groove.  i was glad
that allison didn't interfere this time with my enjoyment
of her music!  :-)  i will be first in line when the CDs
arrive, believe me.  the best part of the show was this
weird duet with al tuck, that was part blues, part bluegrass,
part trip-hop, part psychadelic, part rock.  you had to
be there.  dale drummed this really funky beat and allison
and lucas *both* used steak knives on their guitars and
al sang lead and did some harmonica.  it was *so* tasty.

then sat night, cape breton power trio SUNFISH really
surprised me.  it's not that they have much originality
to the way they play.  i'm not knocking that, because
they aren't lame, they're really polished.  but what
is really obvious is that their lead singer/guitarist
is a talented songwriter.  i really enjoyed them.

COYOTE just keep getting better, all the time.  
personal bias:  i really like the new sticker on tim's
bass ("SPINE: america's best chew").  :-)
a new twist -- instead of breaking a guitar string,
chris broke the strap this time.  :-)  then he had to
put his foot up on the stage monitor and support
his guitar on his leg.  it was very courtney love.  :-)
it seems that they are putting out a six-song CD-EP on 
no records.

CHANGE OF HEART are so i've-seen-everything cynical,
it makes me laugh.  they can't stay on one riff for
more than a few seconds, unless they deliberately
lay it on for several minutes at a time, as in
"stress monkey."  it's hard for me to believe they
will ever be really big -- they're music is just
so disjointed a lot of the time.  i really like it
though.  they did their usual tasty crunchy rock
and leaping-around-the-stage routine, it was 
everything you could want from a change of heart show.
they do the best stage patter.  when they come to your
town you should check them out.


     _James R. Covey <jrcovey\!/ac.dal.ca>_    sloan net is a discussion of the
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