28 Days Later

Alternate ending #1 was good. Alternate ending #2 was…well, necessary given #1 but no better than the original ending, obviously. Alternate ending #3 (aka the radically alternate ending) was excellent, but he was right, how the flying fuck do you convince the audience of that? Bleach in the capillaries indeed…

More little songs

Who the frig are The Imponderables? They came on the stage last night at 11 when we were expecting The Rheostatics. I can’t really describe what happened other than that it involved Celine Dion, an altered version of Roch Carrier’s “The Sweater”, table hockey, cross-dressing, and a naughty version of one of those old CBC vignettes involving lumberjacks or some such.

Then, on came The Rheostatics, all set to do #12 in a 13-night stand at the Horseshoe (in what’s become an annual event, dubbed the “Fall Nationals”) and with 8 of us trying to establish space near the front of a nearly-packed room. They kicked things off with a song I didn’t know. In fact, I didn’t know the first three songs. Happily, I finally recognized the beginning of a song, but then quickly realized they were playing the Guided By Voices song “Teenage FBI”. Then they played another song I didn’t know. Luckily, though, they were good songs, probably from Melville or The Blue Hysteria; I was beginning to realize that my knowledge of the Rheos is limited to Whale Music and Double Live. So I can’t comment on every song.

I do know they played the following: “PIN”, “Saskatchewan”, “Rain Rain Rain”, “Song Of Flight”, “Dope Fiends”, “Christopher” and, to close the set, “Queer”, which was fucking amazing. Somehow some “Taking Care Of Business” snuck in there too (after which Martin mumbled, “I guess that was bound to happen eventually…”). They then came out for an encore, during which I recognized…umm, no songs at all. Well, actually, in the middle of “Four Little Songs” they played parts of songs by Neil Young and The Ramones and others that I can’t remember.

It was good, but it didn’t compare at all to the first two times I saw them. I feel bad about that too; am I disappointed because they didn’t play the songs I know? I hope not; they can’t be faulted for wanting to stretch the set list a little after 12 straight nights. But the flow of the concert seemed to go from fast and exciting to slow and intense, which meant we lost our energy about halfway through and then lost our friends soon after. It picked up here and there, especially during “Queer” and “Blitzkrieg Bop”, but never held. Even Martin’s theatrics and Tim’s hatred of the outgoing Ontario Tory government couldn’t prop us up. Once the first encore was finished, so were we.

Was it a good show? Absolutely. Was it as good as the first two times I saw them? No. The first time I saw them I didn’t recognize any songs and it still blew me away; I guess next year I should go earlier in the run at the ‘Shoe, when their hearts — or mine — are more in it.

We're good Canadians…

We’re going to see the Rheostatics tomorrow night, on the second-to-last night of their Fall Nationals stand at the Horseshoe. This’ll be my third time, and I’m taking at least 3 people who’ve never experienced the Rheos live before. It’ll be fun to hear them going on after the show about how fucking cool that was, just like I did after I saw them for the first time with Mike et al.

Blind Willie Johnson

The man’s stepmother threw lye in his face when he was 7. Ry Cooder idolizes him. His music was launched into space for aliens to find as an indication of the art that humans have created. He sings about God with a voice like a cheese grater and a slide like a harp.

Find him and listen to him.

Matrix: Revolutions

Have you watched the original Matrix recently? It looks so strange now, after seeing Reloaded (the second movie in the series)…rawer, more surprising. Reloaded seemed arrogant, like it didn’t have to win your affection, didn’t have to stun you, kick you bleeding and cheering from the theatre. Reloaded was the indie band who’d gotten cool and knew it. That said, I liked it more the second time I watched it, but it was just a good movie, hardly a great one.

Revolutions had the chance to redeem the idea, and it succeeded, but barely. Revolutions was good, and it wrapped up the series nicely, but I’m glad it’s done. It’s been done since the end of the first movie, dying a slow and slick death. Some people will be disappointed by the ending, everyone will love the final battle with Smith, lots of people will be confused by the Zion battle, and there will be great contention as to whether this is a good movie. Rotten Tomates says no. Metacritic says not so much.