Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bob Seger
ACC Toronto ON

Bob's got his work cut out for him tonight, trying to excite a Toronto arena crowd on a Tuesday night.

Not much help from the instantly forgetable Steel Magnolia, the artistic marriage of a karaoke queen and a Folk Singer (©CR Avery). After capturing the hearts of dozens of hundreds via a cable-access talent show called So You Think You Can Duet? (I happened upon the show thinking it was 'do it'), they are currently the new darlings of country.
They weren't helped by the sound, distant and sparse from our seat in the back corner.
For my tastes, the genre just doesn't du et for me.
With the rare exception of a few artists; Dylan and Baez, Tammi and Marvin, Bowie and Bing, and anything done by The Band, I'm not big on the sharing of songs. I mean, if I wanna listen to a conversation I got the 3 cuties who are going to come and sit down when Seger gets onstage.

Bob Seger, the Poor Man's Bruce Springsteen. Well some may think that. For me it's more like Bob Seger, the Guy Who Gave Bruce his Schtick. Neither of those descriptions denigrates either of the artists. This is the epitome, and the pinnacle, of American Music (Rock Band category).
Seger's catalogue of radio hits puts him squarely in the pack that follows Elvis and The Beatles. He has spanned a couple generations of music, first making his mark in the hey-day of Top 40 Radio with Ramblin' Gamblin' Man in 1968. He was a dominant figure in the mid to late'70's when FM radio reigned. Night Moves, Stranger In Town and Against The Wind (1976-1980) can go up against three consecutive albums by any artist, coming in second only to that other Bob, Dylan. The mid-late '80's had some good moments as the GM truck commercials will testify.

But that was then, this is now.

It's a lively crowd. Lots of drunk women enjoying themselves and not too shy to show it. The audio track is speckled with various "WOOO-birds" and whistlers, the odd stumbling, late-comer and the primal screams of long past their adolescent teen idol crush phase, moms. A real rock spectacle.

This show covers the whole of his career, even show casing a couple covers from the upcoming album. It was a light on songs from Night Moves but when you puruse the set list it's hard to be particular. Seger's voice is limited at the high end as he nears what he himself calls the end of his career but that is really splitting hairs. No one left here disappointed. Crowd-love was bestowed on the band from the moment they hit the stage. It got damn near orgasmic when the mega-hits rolled out.

There are few mp3's below. Sound is sub-par, partly due to the mix in the arena but also because I'm mucking about with different combinations of bass roll-offs, pre-amps and settings on my recorders. Seem to have lost my way a bit.

T01 Roll Me Away (The Distance, 1982)
T02 Tryin' To Live My Life Without You (Eugene Williams) (Nine Tonight, 1981)
T03 Her Strut (Against The Wind, 1980)
T04 Mainstreet (Night Moves, 1976)
T05 Old Time Rock & Roll (Jackson,Jones,Seger) (Stranger In Town, 1978)
T06 Downtown Train (Tom Waits) (from upcoming album, 2011)
T07 Ramblin' Gamblin' Man (from Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, 1969)
T08 Real Mean Bottle (Vince Gill) (from Face of the Promise,2006)
T09 Good For Me (Against The Wind, 1980)
T10 *Shinin' Brightly (Against The Wind, 1980)
T11 Travelin' Man (Beautiful Loser, 1975)
T12 Beautiful Loser (Beautiful Loser, 1975)

T01 Nutbush City Limits (Tina Turner) (Beautiful Loser, 1975)
T02 Come to Poppa (Earl Randle, Willie Mitchell) (Night Moves, 1976)
T03 Gets Ya Pumping (Early Seger Vol 1, 2009)
T04 Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight (Against The Wind, 1980)
T05 We've Got Tonight (Stranger In Town, 1978)
T06 Turn The Page (Back in '72, 1973)
T07 Sunspot Baby (Night Moves, 1976)
T08 The Horizontal Bop (Against The Wind, 1980)
T09 Band Intro
T10 Katmandu (Beautiful Loser, 1975)
T11 encore break
T12 Against The Wind (Against The Wind, 1980)
T13 Hollywood Nights (Stranger In Town, 1978)
T14 encore break
T15 Rock and Roll Never Forgets (Night Moves, 1976)

* Live Debut

Friday, April 08, 2011

Teddy Thompson
The Legendary Horseshoe
Toronto ON

The music industry sucks big-time. I mean, I knew, back in the day, that The Monkees were fabricated. I was pretty certain The Archies were never going to tour (who could have forseen Gorillaz?)I even suspected Glen Campbell wasn't the talent behind the music. Today the industry doesn't even pretend to hoist product on you...they let you pick who will be #1 on the hit charts next week, on this weeks Idol.

All that gets lost in the mix is enduring music of high quality. Few, if any, of the current artists will have a lasting impression in 40 or 50 years. I can't imagine anyone mining the catalogue of Justin Beiber or Drake or Kings of Leon the way they still look back to the likes of Hendrix,Dylan or even The Kinks. There's shit there that will always be rediscovered.

Well, that's not all that gets lost. Guys like Teddy Thompson are still opening sets at The Horseshoe when we should be hearing him on the radio. Don't get me started on what's wrong with radio.

Love this guys voice. He's deft with the hook and knows the inside of a decent pop song. When you're tired of shoe-gazing, check him out.

The club is packed to capacity before Teddy takes the stage. A testament to the ground work he's laid over the past few years, opening at The Mod Club for Nick Lowe, his own headlining set at the 'Shoe, an unannounced, and missed, show at The Dakota. Some of all of those crowds showed up early.

Teddy Thompson guitar, vocals, jokemeister
Jeff Hill bass, backing vox
Ethan Eubanks drums

Track 01 I Feel
Track 02 Don't Know What I Was Thinking
Track 03 talk
Track 04 ? I Shake It Up
Track 05 Delilah
Track 06 talk
Track 07 The Next One
Track 08 talk
Track 09 That'll Be The Day (Buddy Holly)
Track 10 In My Arms
Track 11 talk
Track 12 Gotta Have Someone
Track 13 Looking For A Girl