Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day Two Overview: Winnipeg Wins Me Over...and Over Again

I have woken from the dead after sleeping off what was a 48 hours Winnipeg whirlwind.  So much so, that I baciscally have done nothing today but sleep!

This is what I feel like this morning:

Doing shots with folks at the Albert didn't help.  But how can you say no when a Winnipegger offers.  Sorry Ma.  I cleaned up and didn't get into any trouble.

Oh my gosh, where do I start?

This is just going to be an overview because I am not cohearant enough to give a detailed description of the last 24 hours.  That may come later.

The morning started by meeting Rosanna Deerchild from CBC Radio One in the lobby of my hotel.  She had been sent as the CBC's Winnipeger to show around some of the city's landmarks that had made their way into Weakerthans literature.  (Really?  As I type this I still can't believe they sent someone to show me around the city.  I know it happened, I just can't believe it.)

I am going to write a longer post about this with photos, but my camera is holding some of those photos hostage right now.  Plus, I am so tired at the moment I think that if I wrote about it I would not do it justice.  The piece airs on CBC Radio One Friday, but I am not sure of the time yet.  I am really excited to hear it though!

See now, I don't even remember what I did next.  It's been a busy 2 days.  Oh yes, I tried to take a disco nap before Stu's show.  That didn't work.  Took a Taxi to the radio station because it was cold (ha!) and I thought it would be faster (double ha!).  It was not.  Traffic downtown is pretty much like any other city -- but I got there ontime and had a great time with Stu.  He is a guy that is just cool to hang out with.  

I made it to the Albert show and was so happy to be in this little old very historic club to see the Weakrthans play music from their first album.  What a treat!  People keep saying the the Albert is dirty and scuzzy but I thought it was a lot cleaner than most of the club I have played.  What does this say?

So, I met up with my new friend Nick who reviewed the show for Uptown Magazine.  I will let him to the formal review which you can read HERE.  We were right up front under JKS's mic.  I did not mean to stand there exactly.  I kinda hate that spot at concerts because I feel like I am staring the singer down.  I prefer to be to one side a bit.  Anyway, I loved the opening band Cannon Bros. and they are totally worth checking out.  They are a poppy, jangley boy/girl duo who switch between guitar and drums.  Delightful stuff.

The show was great, of course.  It was amazing to hear The Last Last One - my favorite from Fallow.  They went through the entire album of Fallow, in order and then played some songs off the other albums.  What I found interesting is that once they finnished the Fallow songs, they seemed to take a deep breath of relief, sighed and then let loose.  Kinda like "ok, we did that.  That's over with, now lets rock!"  Maybe it was just my observation but I felt like they enjoyed playing the rest of the set more.
Set List from the Albert Dec-14-2010

I will say to be among a room full of Winnipeggers singing "I hate Winnipeg" is an expereince.  I mean I have been among Pittsburgers and Clevelanders, etc singing it - but it feels different hearing people singing it who live Winnipeg.  I was really surprised that a mosh pit did not develop when they broke into Futon Revolutionist... that's what American crowds do.... and we were at a historic punk club after all.  Perhaps the Winnipeggers are too mild mannered for such.

After the show, I felt like a celebrity or professional greeter.  People kept approaching me saying they had read the paper or be keeping up with the blog.  Now, celebrity is not a feeling I am comfortable with whatsoever.  I like talking to people,  I really do.  And I rarely am at a loss for words -- but to have people come up to you and be excited to talk to you ~ Wow, that is a different feeling.  It's not a bad feeling, it's lovely ~ and unexpected.  But I have loved meeting all of these people.  I will say I really enjoy the fact that these folks are happy that I am enjoying their city so much.  There is a proudness in their smiles and in the tone of their voices.  This I believe is a rare thing in Winnipeg.  Like the "guilt" of the South, there is a theme of self-loathing in Winnipeg that is prevalent in everything.  It's not an ugly self-loathing - it's earnest and humble, and kinda adorable.  So to see pride in their kind voices means a lot to me.

The newest Weakerthan Randy did kind start showing me off like I was his new pet.  It was very endearing.  He was very sweet and enthusiastic.  His band Imaginary Cities is opening the show on Saturday and is definitley worth a listen - good stuff.  I like his addition to the Weakerthans.  Good guy and a great musician.

I had some drinks, hung out with some more kinda and welcoming Winnipeggers at the bar at the Albert, bought my poster and headed home with a pretty big smile on my face.

I will say that after seeing them the for the first show in this series I too kinda relaxed a little bit.  I mean there has been a huge lead up to these shows.... and I kinda started to feel anxious about them and I am not sure why.  I guess sometimes when you put so much planning into an event that expectations arise,  you work it through in your head before you even get there.  Sometimes what you plan does not measure up to your own theatrical production.  That has not been the case whatsoever.  At every turn the Weakerthans, Winnipeg and everyone within this city has far exceeded any expectation I could have imagined.

Good job, guys and gals.

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