Friday, October 20, 2006

Carl Newman could totally fix the ass out of that garage door

But I'm glad he didn't.
The night before the New Pornographers concert this week, I dreamt that Carl Newman was staying at our house (all the bands seem to stay at our house when they play Calgary). In the dream, our garage door was broken, and Carl whipped out a big old toolbox and started to work on it. At sound check, he was still working on it and told us to go ahead to the concert without him; he was going to miss it in order to get the door finished.
I don't know what kind of subliminal meaning there was in that dream, but I was relieved to see him take the stage on Wednesday night. I would rather see him play any day, especially since there's nothing wrong with our garage door, but I did keep saying to Eva, "just look at him, he could totally fix that door".


low point of the evening: Somebody had some homework to finish first, so we got a late start. I wasn't too concerned as I assumed Immaculate Machine would play first, and while we always make it a point to see the opener (you never know when you are going to hear the next Radiohead), as long as we got to see the New Pornos, and especially Novillero, we were happy.
Imagine our shock when we entered the hall just in time to hear Novillero announce "this is going to be our last song". NOOOOOO!!!!!

more than made up for it moment: The guys from Novillero were so sweet and friendly and happy to chat while working the merch table. "I told you we should have gone last" Sean exclaimed when Eva told him that they were her main reason for coming and that we only caught their last song. After a lengthy chat, they promised they would be coming back soon and we bought a couple of sweet t-shirts - Eva's has a bullfighter, mine has a deep-sea diver.

best indie kid ever: The sweet bespectacled lad with the hand-knitted green striped mitts and matching scarf near the front of the stage. Those mitts saw air all night long! Every time I looked over, those mitts were way up in the air, clapping, thrusting to the ceiling, just givin' 'er. And not just during the New Pornos either; those mitts worked each song of every band. Kathryn Calder, who had just done double duty with Immaculate Machine, even commented on how great this kid was as the Pornos took the stage.
I ran into him as we were leaving, and I couldn't help blurting out "dude, you're awesome!". He looked puzzled for a split second, then glanced down at his mittened hands, and a big grin split his face as he gave me a thumbs up. Well, thumbs up to you too, indie boy! Keep on being fabulous!
best dance move of the night: That would have to go out to my very own indie kid, for her "Happy Hands" interperative dance moves. Shades of the best parts of Napolean Dynamite.
overall: great night, despite that fact that there weren't that many people there. In fact, there was not an eight-foot guy in sight and I had the best view of the stage I have ever had at Mac Hall. The New Pornos were tight, as always, Novillero were awesome, and Immaculate Machine were a good new addition to my musical experience. In fact, I'm gaining more and more admiration for Kathryn Calder all the time. She may not have the lungs of Neko Case, but she has a lovely voice and is an awesome keyboardist.
--
Oddly, the last songs which both Novillero and the New Pornographers played were among my favourites.
Here are:
Aptitude - Novillero
the Slow Descent into Alcoholism - the New Pornographers


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26 comments:

Toccata said...

Glad you enjoyed the concert even if Neko Case wasn't there. When Neko played Victoria's Folk Fest it was her 18th performance in 20 days. Yikes! It didn't help that the night was chilly and most there had never heard of her. She's not known for her stage presence but I could have cared less. Her vocals are amazing so more singing and less chit chat is fine by me.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It should be a sore point with me that Neko Case has twice cancelled out of Calgary performances in the past year, Toccata, but somehow it's not (anymore). I agree she is just so talented and awe-inspiring. I really need to see her perform one day.
But if you want a band with stage presence and good banter, Novillero's your band!

Will said...

I like Kathryn Calder as well. She has big shoes to fill and does a nice job. I also like the new wave element she brings in. That is absolutely my favorite concert review ever.

mellowlee said...

How awesome! I love your description of the bemittened kid, and of Eva's happy hands moves *G* I'm sorry you missed most of Novillero, but I'm sure you will see them again soon eh? I hope anyways. Thanks for such a great review. *chair dances with glee*

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

i love mitten boy!

Teddy said...

All the 7 footers were in front of me, by the sound table. And I love Kathryn... she recorded Twin Cinema.

Unfirtunately, sound quality suck'd particularly that night.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

She has done a surprisingly good job, Will, as her vocal style is quite different from Neko Case's. But she doesn't seem intimidated in the slightest.
Thanks for the props.

It was a fun concert, despite missing Novillero. If we hadn't seen them before, we wouldn't have been aware of what we missed, but I'm glad we got to chat with them. They're ace.
And my kid is a goof!

I love mitten boy too, 668! He was so much fun; made my night, really.

The sound quality was pretty brutal, wasn't it, Teddy. I thought that Kathryn did well even on the songs from Mass Romantic and Electric Version; they've sort of reworked the songs to fit her voice more.
Too bad we missed each other.

hilary m. said...

Glad the concert went well!
I love the indie-kids at Mac Hall, they warm the cockles of my heart (my math teacher said that last week...). Their cute glasses, furry hair and stripey t-shirts.

Don't worry though, I have dreams about rock stars helping me out with everyday stuff. One time I went shopping with Rufus Wainwright. But I woke up, and was unfortunatly dreaming...

ugh.

Allison said...

Happy to hear the concert went well. Doesn't it make it so much better whent the bands are friendly at the merch table??

When I went to see Cuff the Duke there weren't too many people there either, but it acutally turned out to be a good thing, as those there really wanted to be there.

I will take a listen to the clips when I have sound!

Ben Heller said...

It's funny, I have Rock star dreams too !

I dreamt last week that me and George Michael were hitting on two girls in a bar and George was showing them his appendicitus scar and telling them really funny jokes. I was getting pissed off because my jokes weren't as funny and then to top it all off Iggy Pop walked in and started playing a Piccolo whilst a shaven headed Barry Mannilow was cutting the links on a great big bucket of sausages.

But that's not the weird part. I'll tell you that on another day maybe.

Sounds like you had a great time Barbara, I'm sorry you missed Novillero's show because they sound very promising from the sample you posted. Do they have a horn section ?

You wanted to adopt Indie boy and his Mittens, didn't you ?

Barbara said...

Where did you get a picture of his mittens?

All I have is George dreams...
And he doesn't fix anything.

No wait that's not true in one dream he was fixing the drain.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Half the fun of going to concerts at Mac Hall (and Wickham Hall at MRC) is checking out the patented indie kid outfits, Hilary. They're great and yes, they do warm the cockles of one's heart.
You got to go shopping with Rufus in your dream? Lucky! He would be fabulous with a capital F to go shopping with! I had a bake sale with the Constantines once. That was fun.

Sometimes a small crowd is the best thing (for the audience anyway), Allison. You can get up close and, as you say, those there are really into it.
The openers always seem to be so happy and grateful when they work merch and you buy something (which we always do). Although it does break my heart a little bit when they are surprised that you actually want to buy their stuff, sweet as that is.

Ummm, that's not the weird part, Ben? You really do have a rich sleeping life, don't you? I'd love to hear the rest sometime...
That's a good question about Novillero's horn section. They definitely have quite a bit of horns on their cd (which I love) but I couldn't tell you for certain if they used horns at the concert, but I'm pretty sure they did.
I competely wanted to adopt mitten boy. He was adorable and I always thought it would be nice for Eva to have a sib.

Those are a reasonable facsimile of the mittens, Barbara W, although they were most certainly hand-knitted. I like to think mitten boy knit them himself during history class.
How'd George do on fixing the drain?

Barbara said...

He was in a bad mood when he was fixing it but the drain was in working order I think.

Barbara said...

an anagram for the 'Bad Tempered Zombie' would be...
A EMBED PROBED ME ZIT
That is just one of hundreds.
You can copy the link from my last post and play away.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Now that's cheating to use a computer to generate an anagram, Barbara W. Whatever happened to DIY?

Barbara said...

That is what computers are for.
I am on my way out to a silent auction at the granite club. There are going to be things there that will empty my wallet, or anyones wallet. I will tell you about it demain.
I even emailed George about it because there are hockey things he would love... too bad for him.

Alana said...

Wow, sounds awesome, Barb! Glad you had such a great time with the family at the concert, and that Eva totally partied it up. I think it's so great that you guys go out and do that kind of thing together. More families should do that, I think. :)

LOL, knitted green mitten boy sounds awesome too!

*sigh* Your blog makes me wish I had more money for plays and theatre and concerts and things I can't usually afford. :P

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Make sure you don't get kicked out for talking too loudly at the silent auction, Barbara W.

Alana, sometimes I think it's a trifle embarassing for Eva that she does so much stuff with her mom, but we like the same things and we enjoy each other's company, so what are you going to do...
I am grateful that I do have more money now to do this sort of thing. It comes with age, though, so there is a downside!

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

i either want to put mitten boy in a story or a film. i can't decide which one would be better...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

He'd be good in either, 668. He was a sweet looking lad, so he would translate well to film.

She's Crafty said...

Awww! I felt like I was there for a moment, and then reality had to be a bugger. Sounds like fun times. I have been invited to see "the Rapture" in Novemeber. My schedule is packed once again, but I am going to do my best!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Wish you could have been there, Serah, it was a lot of fun! You should try to go to the Rapture, although I know it's tough when your schedule starts getting packed.

Deb said...

Mitten boy's got quite a following here...YEAH!!! I'll be watching for him....perhaps on The Hour? Pull some strings guys!!

Thoroughly entertaining post, Barbara. The meaning of your dream?.....Carl is a mechanical genius who would do anything for his fans? Sounds close enough.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'll go with your interpretation of the dream, Deb - it sounds very reasonable. Maybe you could explain the one where I was having a bake sale with the Constantines (who bake very good bread btw)?

Mitten Boy epitomises everything that is good about indie kids.

phlegmfatale said...

By the way - Carl could totally fix that door!

Sounds like you had a blast. The mitten kid sounds super-cool, and it's so great that you can go out and enjoy music with your kids, that's got to be one of the most binding things a family can do together, and it's lovely to hear about it.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Yes, I believe he could too, PF! He looks quite capable.

I have a great time hanging around with my kid - I'm so glad we like the same music, as it has really made concert-going a lot more fun.