You know, there is something to be said for simplicity. I get a kick out of simple things. Take this video by Fujiya & Miyagi for instance. Some simple shots, some croping, color adjustment and bang, there you have it. A kick ass song doesn’t hurt either.
While in Montreal to see a REM/Counting Crows concert, I get stuck waiting on St. Cahterine Street for half an hour while my musically inclined friend Corey searches for some obscure CD called End Of A Hollywood Bedtime Story by some new Canadian band called The Dears. I was not impressed
Taking the nod from my good friend I listen to the The Dears. I like it. A lot.
2003 No Cities Left is released. If this CD was a fruit, it would be a Kiwi, because it is so sweet. One of the best albums of the decade.
Sometime During 2003/2004?
The Dears visit the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. During Heartless Romantic, lead singer Murray Lightburn rips out his megaphone for the chorus and I get the goosbumps, one of which is still on the back of my neck. Probably my most memorable concert experience to date.
The Dears release Gang Of Losers. Maybe I was anticipating this release too much but this album was the most radio friendly, un-Dears-esk album I could have expected. I have since pawned my hard copy of Gang Of Losers to help pay for a 6-pack on some forgettable Saturday night.
The Dears release Missiles. This album goes back to the Dears early sound of NCL and EOAHBS. It reminds me of lying in bed at 3:AM listening to Patti Schmidt on Brave New Waves to help me fall asleep. With almost an entire new lineup, Murray busts out Missiles which has that familiar slow, quiet, soothing, orchestral, rocking feel which made me fall in love with The Dears in the first place.
Edmonton – Honour Thy Father attempts to take a look at the ability for various religions and cultures to cohabit the same space in a small town. The story follows Gerald Auger, a traditional Cree, in his bid to give his father a proper burial, after the local Anglican priest had buried his father the Anglican way. The topic is definitely an interesting one, and the disappear Indian religions/culture is a topic certainly worth a look. However, this documentary comes out as nothing but spiteful. Perhaps it is because of the personal nature of the topic (narrator trying to bury his father against the politics of the church), but when you start off with a documentary by stating that the white man has been killing Indian culture and taking advantage of you for hundreds of years, then it can’t help but come off as a tad bias. I think documentaries are suppose to expose facts and angles that you may have not seen before, and then let you make your judgment. Honor Thy Father does not really do that, it appears to set out to gain some sort of sympathy and while the sympathy is certainly justifiable, it should not be thrown at you in such a direct manner as this film did.
Edmonton – For me, the early 90s meant brightly coloured shirts and more pop music that anyone could possibly need for one lifetime. But, halfway around the world, all hell was breaking loose. Last night I had the good fortune to check out the opener for the Global Vision Film Festival in Edmonton. Triage is about Dr. James Orbinski, who served with Medicines Sans Frontiers (Docs Without Borders, to my fellow anglophones) during the devastating famine in Somalia in 1992, the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, and the related refugee camps in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1996. Orbinski travels from Toronto to these three locales of his past, relating stories of the things he had seen and the people he had met. Spliced into his narratives are video clips from the time and I must admit that I can’t get some of these terrible images out of my head. Maybe it’s best to not have one’s head in the sand though. Those who plead ignorance to the past are just as likely to repeat it as those who have forgotten. Put on your courage cap and see this doc.