One of the things I really like about The Weakerthans is that their music sort of sounds like the kind of poetry we all had to read in high school literature classes. I know, you think it sucked. But I loved it. There’s something powerful about a terse arrangement of words that you have to actually think about to figure out the meaning, and my meaning might not be your meaning, might not be the author’s meaning.
I could go on about why I think many of the literature classes I took sucked. Really, that’s what sucked. Not the poetry. Whenever we were in a class where we were carefully deconstructing something to figure out what the meaning was, it just felt kind of like dissecting something in biology class to me. Not to say you can’t examine the written word closely, but I’d consider it more akin to fMRI than surgery. (fMRI is when they use an MRI machine to look at an actual, operating human brain to see what’s going on while it’s running and reacting to things. They don’t get as clear a picture of the brain, but they get a better idea of what it actually does.)
I’ve been meaning to get back to posting videos from Ships and Dip V since something like…ahhh…FOREVER. And now I’m finally jumping back in with videos of my favorite new band, The Weakerthans. They totally, friggin’ rawk. And not only because they’ve written some rocking songs about cats!
So here’s the first of several videos of their on-ship performances.
No one knows how to end a show like Gaelic Storm. First show, on the pool deck, and how do they top their crowd surfing from last year? They crowd surf INTO the pool. Awesome!
We actually saw Gaelic Storm the week before the cruise and asked Jessie Burns, the fiddler, if she was going to crowd surf this year, since she demurred last year. She said “Oh, no. I’ve heard from some other female artists that it’s just not a good idea.” In the interim, seems she changed her mind. If she needs to sue anybody…I got the video. =)
Well, as St. Patrick’s Day approaches, it seems only fitting to post some Ships and Dip V videos from a band that is led by someone who will someday be the Patron Saint of Liver Disease, Patrick Murphy. By the end of the cruise, Patrick complained he had “broken his liver”, but I like to think he sacrificed his liver so that those of us with weaker constitutions could still actually do things like walk, hear the music, and breathe.
Here, Gaelic Storm performs “Born to be a Bachelor” on the first night of the cruise, which was also Super Bowl Sunday. The band pulled a big crowd, proving that American football sucks compared to good music.
Here’s a video of the start of the sail away concert from Ships and Dip V — BnL doing Some Fantastic. This is the only video I’ve got from the concert because I swore to myself I wasn’t going to watch the cruise through a viewfinder this time.
I know, you’re saying to yourself, “How could you improve on something called “Bar City”? Especially when you’re on a cruise and you don’t have to drive home?
Why mix in Gaelic Storm, a bit of Great Big Sea, and a ton of folks having a good time! This isn’ t the best video quality, since it was taken at low rez on a digital still camera, but it gives you the idea of why, when someone says, “Hey, Gaelic Storm is down in Bar City tonight, and the guys from Great Big Sea might show up,” you want to actually put on your pants and head down there. It’s a fantastic, crazy time, and you feel wonderfully good afterwards for hours.
I don’t have a lot of video of Mike Evin, but it’s not because I didn’t enjoy his performances. Nay, to the contrary. It is exactly because I enjoyed his performances that I don’t have a lot of video. You see, Mike is kind of like…well…the Bill Nye the Science Guy of music. Or something. What I mean is, he’s the kind of person who makes it easy for others to get involved in what he’s passionate about.
It’s quite evident, when you watch him perform that he loves what he does. And that love, that passion for music, is infective. And Mike seems to know it. Mike knows what all good live performers know — that the performance involves the audience. You want people to clap, sing, hum, move. And he actually goes ahead and orchestrates it. He arranges the audience into the performance. And we love it! Which is why I put my video camera down and got involved.
Here’s he and the Brothers Creeggan and Tyler Stewart (from BnL) performing his song, “We Should Dance.” (Which encapsulates quite well, I think, his philosophy of music.) Oh yea, and us, the audience, helping out.
Back to the music from Ships and Dip V — lest you think it was all distorted electic guitar-based rock, here’s some quirky music from Christine Fellows. I found I really liked her music because, in an odd fit of synaesthesia, I find it very visual. Like listening to it makes me see a movie in my head. (See my post on Oliver Sacks book, Musicophilia, to find out more about this kind of thing.)
Christine is actually behind the piano in this clip, so you don’t get to see her. She’s briefly joined on the stage in clip 2 by her husband, John Samson of the distorted electric guitar-based band, “The Weakerthans”, of whom we will hear and see more later.
Here’s another video from the Pool Deck show Butterfly Boucher did on Ships and Dip V. Totally rocking song called “Gun For A Tongue” from her new album scaryfragile. (At least I think the title is all run together like that. It kind of looks that way on the album cover.)
Right at the end of this song you’ll see this flurry of activity as the techs try and get her off the stage because there was some fairly scary looking lightning in the area. Butterfly did a great job of scooting everyone off to safer places. She later said she felt kind of bad about mentioning people could go buy her album, but really, if you’re a musician, you got to sell your record. (And I’d already bought it the first moment I set eyes on it on the ship.)