Saskatchewan

REVIEW: KISS – Alive 35: Live at Credit Union Centre, Saskatoon SK, Nov 10 2009

ALIVE 35_0001KISS – Alive 35: Live at Credit Union Centre, Saskatoon SK, Nov 10 2009 (Concert Online)

I would buy any “instant live” type CD by Kiss — that’s a given. The sheer quantity available means I will never own a complete collection of them. What I chose to do was buy a handful, selectively. I was most interested in Canadian shows, and of course concerts where new songs from Sonic Boom were performed.

Kiss’ concert in Saskatoon on November 10 2009 fit the bill perfectly.* Something about Paul Stanley shouting, “SASKATOON!” The new songs performed that night were “Modern Day Delilah” and “Say Yeah”, both personal favourites. As a bonus to me, there’s also a version of “Shock Me” with Tommy Thayer singing. Some Kiss fans have taken exception to Tommy singing this song in addition to wearing Ace’s costume. I’m not going to get into that. All I will say on the matter is that I would rather hear “Shock Me” live than not.

ALIVE 35_0003The concert opens with four 1974 Kiss classics in a row: “Deuce”, “Strutter”, “Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “Hotter Than Hell”. “Let Me Go” seems to fall apart, giving the show a raucous flavour.  It doesn’t get any more retro than that.  That’s four of my favourite Kiss songs in a row; four songs I never tire of. Paul’s voice is sore, cracking in several places.  The job still gets done with the backing vocals of Eric Singer, Gene Simmons and Tommy Thayer. Eric definitely pulls a lot of weight vocally. As much as I wanted to hear new songs, “Say Yeah” suffers a bit vocally.

Highlight: Undoubtedly, a 16 minute version of “100,000 Years”. Eric Singer does his drum thing, and then Paul and Tommy both pick up their guitars and do a call-and-response jam, throwing in a few Zeppelin licks.  You don’t think of Kiss as the kind of band that executes 16 minute extended jams, but it works in a primitive, primordial way.

Paul Stanley’s stage raps are absolutely classic. Paul knows Canada. He knows that all he has to do is say “Montreal” and he gets the crowd going. Just before “Rock all Roll all Nite”, Paul informs the crowd that Shannon Tweed is in the house! The fellow Canadian is greeted warmly by the people of Saskatoon. However my favourite rap is this:

“There’s so much trouble in the world. If you came here tonight to hear some band tell you how to end global warming…if you came here tonight to hear some band tell you how to end world hunger…you are in the wrooong place tonight! I’ll tell you something, we all came here tonight to escape from the world! Tomorrow morning when we get up it’ll be just as screwed up as it is today. We might as well have a little fun! And you know if somebody says to you…’You outta be a little more socially conscious, you outta be doing what you can to help save the world.’ You say to them, ‘Listen to me. Tonight’s my night off and I wanna Rock and Roll all Nite and party every day!'”

Hard to argue with that, Paul!

4/5 stars

 *I still want a CD from a European show where they performed “I’m An Animal”, however.

REVIEW: The Sheepdogs – Learn and Burn (2011 bonus tracks)

SHEEPDOGS AND LEBRAIN

Ewen, Leot, LeBrain, Sam & Ryan

THE SHEEPDOGS – Learn and Burn (2011 Warner reissue, originally 2010)

SHEEPDOGS_0002Like many of you, I first heard The Sheepdogs via the excellent single “I Don’t Know”, a rollicking journey through territory pioneered by The Guess Who and Neil Young. And what a cool Canadian success story, what with that Rolling Stone cover and all.

A few months after falling in love with “I Don’t Know”, I was invited to a private acoustic session with the Sheepdogs. There were about 40 people in the room tops, including myself and my co-worker Bart who was my “+ 1”. I remember them playing “How Late, How Long” and an older tune. They were great, friendly and gracious.  They did a short meet & greet after the show, and I appreciated it when Ewen said to me, “I really like your Beatles shirt.  That’s my favourite period of John Lennon.”  I told him I specifically picked that shirt because I hoped they’d dig it!  The beards, you know?

I’m going to coin a new genre here:  “Beard Rock”.

Before seeing the band, I bought the album based on “I Don’t Know”.  That was sometime in fall of 2010; I remember listening to it on a cold, cold night at the cottage.   My impressions?  It’s a really cool mellow rock album. It sounds as if it came right out of 1969. It sounds very authentic to the period, even sonically.  Very different from their current work with Patrick Carney of the Black Keys.  I am impressed. I really like it.  Admittedly though, it’s a bit too derivative.  SHEEPDOGS_0006

Highlights for me included:

  • “Please Don’t Lead Me On”, which was very Beatles-y.  It’s jaunty, I like it.
  • “I Don’t Get By” which has a very country (or even Led Zep III) vibe.
  • “Right On” and its fat saxophone solo.
  • “Southern Dreaming” which reminds me of the Allmans, CCR and The Band
  • “Soldier Boy”,  probably the most rocking song on the album.
  • “Catfish 2 Boogaloo” kind of reminds me of a laid back version of Cream.

And, the whole Medley. These four mini-songs all meld together seamlessly, but are distinct sections.  It’s a gimmick similar to Abbey Road side two, but in miniature form.

The only song that does nothing for me is the title track “Learn and Burn”. Not into the vocal hook at all. Sorry.  I also didn’t dig the lyric referencing “Facebook invitations”, it just doesn’t vibe with the vintage 1971 sound of the song.

The two bonus tracks on the remastered edition are “Birthday” and “Slim Pickens”.  Yes, I re-bought the album to get two more songs.  You knew I would.  “Birthday” is worth it, a lovely 60’s sounding pop rock tune, with twang and banjo.  I wasn’t expecting “Slim Pickens” to rock as hard as it does, but it does!  This is a smokin’ little electric guitar bluegrass boogie instrumental.

Good album though, and a band to watch. Their work with Patrick Carney on their 2012 self-titled record expanded on their sound.  I expect them to continue to grow.

3.5/5 stars

WTF SEARCH TERMS: Pol Rodgers Edition

PAUL

WTF SEARCH TERMS III:  Pol Rodgers Edition

WTF Search Terms is a new feature here at LeBrain’s, where I reveal some amusing words that people typed into search engines, ending up at my site.  Today I’ve gathered 10 of the funnier Rock-related search terms!  If you missed the last one, click here.

10.  “show me all of iron maidens art dra”  “Show me”?  Pfft.  Show me your dra first.

9. “pol rodgers fire and waters”  He  knew how to spell Rodgers, but not Paul.

8.  “band acting like a puppet”  My best guess is Supergrass.

7. “jonbonjovi phoyoes never seen”  If you’ve never seen it, neither have I.

6. “where was montly crew attacted in saskatchewan”  He spelled Saskatchewan right.

5. “deep purple songs about nature appreciation”  This thought had not crossed my mind once before now.

4. “when will def leppard be on itunes”  Perhaps the answer is, like my old Psych 301 prof used to say, “On the 12th of Never.”

3. “why does burke shelley sound like a woman”  Maybe because his last name is Shelley, huh-huh, huh-huh.

2. “paul di anno teh beast”  Teh.

1. “does sebastian bach really like model trains”  Yes, him and Sheldon Cooper!

News: MÖTLEY CRÜE Attacked On Stage In Saskatchewan; Video

Bravewords.com News MÖTLEY CRÜE Attacked On Stage In Saskatchewan; Video.

This really pisses me off, especially to see it happen in a place such as Canada.  We try to keep our image as the nice guys of the world, and then this jackass knocks down Mick Mars.

Like Nikki Sixx (or somebody) said, “What the fuck is wrong with you, you fucking idiot?”

Mick Mars has a very painful bone disease (ankylosing spondylitis).  I’m guessing he could have easily broken his back in that fall.  You can see how freaked out everybody is, and that he can’t get up on his own.

Hope you’re feeling OK today Mick, come back to Canada anytime, don’t let one idiot ruin it for you.

Mars  says: “Thank all of you for your concerns about me being knocked down last night I’m alright nothing broken. My body guard Rhyno got 2 busted ribs.”

It happens at the end of “Primal Scream”.

More Motley:

REVIEW:  Shout at the Devil

REVIEW:  Theater of Pain

REVIEW:  Generation Swine

REVIEW:  “Sex” 2012 single