It’s been a long time, friends. You’ve been missed.
This could easily be another catch-all Hip playlist but, after listening to “Introduce Yerself,” I’m imposing a short-term ban on all things Gord related. I need some space and some time to gain some peace, otherwise this wound won’t heal.
So here’s what’s on rotation in my currently Hip-free world, in addition to things I’ve picked up since my last Geek Pick list (that wasn’t linked to a musician’s death. Sheesh.).
“Autumn’s Here” by Hawksley Workman.
Had the absolute pleasure of seeing the Peterborough stop on the Writes of Spring tour in April featuring Hawksley Workman, Donovan Woods, Tim Baker and Amelia Curran. The rain pounded on the roof and the spirited Workman mused about the sky opening just in time for their performance.
“What They Mean” by Donovan Woods.
This might be the most country thing in my collection these days. And it’s not, not really, but there’s something in Woods’ voice, delicate and soft and whispery, a great surprise from this teddy bear-looking man. A delight.
“Talk About It” by Kasador.
These talented sprites are on tour right now. Do yourself a favour, get out of the house and go see them. Right now. Because if you don’t see them now in small and mid-sized clubs, you’ll be telling people in 10 years you were there. So, y’know, don’t tell stories that aren’t true. Go see them. Thank me later. They’re Arkells-inspired and a bit poppier than what I’d normally dig, but the talent is unmistakable and their success well earned and deserved. Plus, when you have such a good time seeing them you completely forget your bank card at the bar, they’ll send you a message on Twitter apologizing for the inconvenience but wanting to make sure you knew it was there, and will wait for you to pick it up. True story. (Thanks again guys! See you soon!)
Ok, technically they break my no-Hip related music rule. But it’s a generation removed.
“Tinfoil” by Limblifter
I’ve rediscovered the fun of Limblifter. That’s all.
Ok, one more time into the wayback machine.
“Salesmen, Cheats and Liars” by Lowest of the Low.
Had the chance to see Ron Hawkins sing at the Buffalo Science Museum’s auditorium this spring, a small show promoted as part of a exhibit on guitars. He was the highlight, telling stories not just about his band and his career but the relationship not just Lowest of the Low but so many Canadian bands have with WNY. One story in particular involved running around in their underwear during a particularly warm show at a legendary dive bar in town… We can drink til 4am in Buffalo. That might explain a thing or two.
“Let The Boys Be Girls” and “Soundtrack to My Summer” by Two Cow Garage.
One of the first people to visit me after my return home to Buffalo was a good friend from Virginia. This band she loved was playing at a club right downtown. What the hell, I could use a new band.
The first acts we saw that evening were good. Folky, Americana-type stuff. Nice but not my normal stuff. And then this band started up.
It was the kind of night where I couldn’t move. It was love at first note. Shane and Micah were kind enough to forget this crazy person professing her love for them with a handshake and slack-jawed amazement. “I didn’t know I’ve been looking for you my whole life,” I said. (No, really.) For the rest of the month I listened to nothing else. Every album, every single, every download was purchased instantly and obsessively played on repeat. Please check them out, they’re all over bandcamp with their TCG and solo projects. Micah’s working on a novel; Shane does pencil illustrations every day. (I have three.)
Oh my god, that line — “My friends were busy buying into the American Dream, going to sleep as punk rock kids, waking up part of the machine.” That’s the moment. That was it. I was done.
Ok, gotta end this on an upper.
“Knockin’ at the Door” by Arkells.
“Got the North Star guiding me.” Yup. It’s good to be home.