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plumtree/al tuck/allison outhit/piggy/licorice fix

yes, it was a regular bonanza of happening gigs in
halifax last week.  you already heard about the
super friendz and friends so let me tell you about
a couple of other interesting events.

PLUMTREE thursday, february 15, cafe ole
cd (un)release w new brunswick, licorice fix

it's a routine event for halifax bands:  release
parties where the record being released hasn't
arrived yet.  this time, the disc in limbo
(otherwise known as toronto) is the new plumtree
cd called _mass teen fainting_, which was recorded
in ottawa by rod glue (otherwise known as paul

i arrived too late to see new brunswick.  i caught
the latter half of licorice fix and i don't really
know what to tell you.  it's kind of fun and
mildly gratifying to see all these ontario
halifax-wannabe bands making their pilgrimages to
the mythical east coast.  like new grand, licorice
fix have a serious thrush hermit fixation, and
like new grand, it's about two years behind what
thrush hermit are actually doing now.  at least
licorice fix don't steal their moves.  :-)  i
didn't hear the "french inhale" ripoff song that
everyone's talking about.  i did, however, catch
their cover of "anyway, anyhow, anywhere" and they
didn't do much re-arrangement of the song except
to make the townsend-guitar-crashing-around bit a
little more ericstrippy, i.e. feedback-drenched.

so plumtree played with their new bassist,
katrina.  no, not katrina grentz.  can't you
picture that though?  :-)  it seems that katrina
plumtree is some kind of flashy bluesharp player,
but it doesn't look like they are trying to work
that side of things into the band.  not that they
necessarily should!  i never fail to have a good
time at plumtree gigs; they have yet to disappoint
me.  they did some favorites like "sodium
chloride" and "the phone the phone", and played
this new song which i think was called "scott
pilgrim" which was really rock and a lot different
then their usual surfyboppy thing.  it's a new
side of the band but i hope they don't totally
pursue that -- i wouldn't want them to lose their
unique sound.  it sounds kinda corny to say it but
plumtree make me happy.

the grad house, dalhousie university, sat feb 17

so it's been over ten years now since east timor
shrugged off colonial status and declared their
independence, and were promptly invaded nine days
later by indonesia.  thanks to bigtime corporate
interest, canada has happily supported indonesia's
genocide (not an exaggeration -- they've killed
off one-third of the people so far, and in
atrocious ways) of the timorese with arms and
voting support at the UN.

the idea with this gig was to raise enough money
to fly a timorese student activist from ontario to
speak in halifax about her experiences (she
escaped to canada by pretending to sympathize with
indonesia).  by the size of the crowd, i'd say
they raised that money.  i only stayed for the
first three acts, but it was worth it.

piggy were in five-member mode:  jordan on
clarinet, melissa on stand-up bass, graham on
drums, paul on guitar/vocals, and who's the sax
guy?  i forget.  some of you probably haven't
heard of piggy -- they're a genuine and rather
wacky calypso band.  they did five or six songs,
some of which are on their brand new tape
(_apocalypso_, hee hee).  besides their originals
they did a really old calypso song from the '20s
and at the end they took a request and did "ding
dong the monkey" (paul: "this is from our *first*
tape, _calypso avalanche_.  no, i'm serious, i'm
not kidding about that.").

allison outhit can usually be found belting out
the rock and roll hits with her band rebecca west,
but on this occasion she dusted off her acoustic
guitar and played some non-band songs, which she
categorized as:  a pop song, a folk song, a jazz
song, and a country song.  all the songs had
really bitter lyrics but allison had a lot of fun
with that and people picked up on her sense of
humour and laughed often and freely at her country
song (sample lyric: "you don't have to change a
thing, 'cause i hate you just the way you are").
she joked that she wrote that song because she saw
how famous shania twain was getting and she
thought she could get in on the action.

al tuck was the funniest though.  the first song
that he did, he kept having to pause ("uh, um.  oh
yeah.") between the end of the chorus and the
beginning of each verse ("wait.  there's another
verse.").  this was an occasion where al found his
dream crowd.  people were totally into his sly
sense of humour, and laughed uproariously at his
between-song banter and some of his funnier lyrics
("i was celtic when celtic wasn't cool" -- al's
not the least bit celtic...).  al couldn't stop
talking about how much he was enjoying the crowd.
actually, there was this one really drunk guy who
was laughing at *everything* whether it was funny
or not and then people were laughing at him in
turn and so on.  i guess you had to be there.
al's final words to the crowd: "i have no idea why
i wrote that song, and no idea why i played it,
'cause i really don't like it!"


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