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HoM review, part 2.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 15
\!/ sanctuary: danko jones, plumtree, local rabbits, mavis piggott,
elevator to hell, chixdiggit
The all-ages finale of the Halifax on Music festival was held at a
former antiques store on Barrington Street that is being turned into a
cybercafe of some sort. The renovations are still in progress, but the
space had been cleaned out and accomodated the crowd rather well, I
After a loud instrumental introduction, the guy in the slanty
fedora and spiffy suit, who turns out to be Danko, grabs the mic and starts
into a rant: "I know there's a lot of musicians in the house tonight.
Well, I want all the musicians, and all the journalists here tonight to
grab a pen and start taking notes! You think you know how to play a chord?
We'll show you how to play a chord!" and so on. The best thing was that
after this rant about how good they are, they actually were great!
Apparently these guys are going on tour with the New Bomb Turks, which is
probably the best thing they could do. Danko Jones is like NBT but with
style and soul. One of freshest musical hybrids I've seen in a long time.
The lyrics all revolve around "hey woman, if you want a real man come over
here and I'll treat you right" but Danko makes you believe it! Then there
was the milk incident -- Danko kept a litre of milk on stage and a couple
of times he picked up the carton and gulped it while it splashed over his
face and clothes. The second time he looked right at Mike Campbell's video
camera and said "Make sure you air that!" After the set, Steven Page from
Barenaked Ladies was hanging outside with the Halifax celebs and, like Tara
told you, *smoking a cigarette*. This guy's going to lose his wholesome
"Hi, we're Plumtree, and we're not as scary as Danko Jones." It
was a strange transition from trashy punked-out blues to boppy pop-rock but
the crowd had some imagination and didn't miss a beat. The band seemed
downright excited to be playing and their enthusiasm was catching. They
mentioned that their new single, which features "Scott Pilgrim", their
"stadium rock song", had arrived just two days before (It's a split on PF
Records with the Inbreds who do "North Window", their leadoff track/video
for the new album). They did an excellent version of that song as well as
some other new material.
Unfortunately, the Rabbits had to scratch their plan to bring Al
Tuck up on stage for a song, because they had to keep their set short. The
funniest thing happened though. Ron Foley MacDonald (most of you probably
don't know who that is but he's much hated by musicians around here because
he knows everything about movies and nothing about music and yet chooses to
publish really stupid music reviews) came strolling in with a video camera,
swept through the crowd up to the front of the stage, and then walked
through the crowd and back out the door again. I looked around as he went
by and caught the eye of one of the people from _the Coast_ and we both
burst out laughing. He just looked so ridiculous, like he thought he was
filming an epic rockumentary or something.
Power-rock trio from Seattle who were here, presumably, becuase of
the Murder/Flydaddy connection. I didn't much like them during the first
couple of songs, but they saved their best material for the back half of
the set and I ended up being very impressed. I couldn't help thinking
"Thalia Zedek" while I was listening to the lead singer -- she's got that
really growly voice and the fixed posture on stage. The band sounds a lot
like Come but without being any kind of direct ripoff. The songs have both
structure and guts and that's a hard combination to find.
ELEVATOR TO HELL
Elevator did an even dirtier blues thing than last time they played
Birdland. They are so heavy, just like Eric's Trip, without doing the ET
sound over again. The new elements are the blues thing and the dirge
factor -- Elevator manages to be consistently dark in a way that ET never
were. I think some people in the crowd didn't like that -- at one point,
someone yelled out "play something we can dance to!" Most of the crowd
seemed really into it though. They did not do "Why I Didn't Like August
'93" which is probably the most ET-like Elevator song. They did do that
new song, the last one on the new EP, for their closing number. It was
really heavy. Cool. :-)
I can only quote Shawn Duggan: "it's as if the Ramones all came
from healthy families." Yes, they are unbelievably cheesy. Yes, all of
their songs sound the same. None of that seemed to matter to the kids --
that mosh pit was going crazy. Surfing constantly. And you should have
seen Pete Rabbit dancing with Steve Page. I left a few minutes early,
though, so that I wouldn't miss Tim Robbins Experience at Birdland.
OK, i have to break off at this point.
I'll review the wrapup party a little later.
_James Covey <jrcovey\!/cochran.com>_ sloan net is a discussion of the
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