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“Hey hey glad girls!”
More video wonderment from the ANZA Club Saturday night (Dec 15).
Several ladies got up onstage for a performance of one of Guided by Voices’ most beltable anthems, “Glad Girls”.
There have been drunker renditions with more people singing this song at past Guided by Robots shows—annual events featuring members of Vancouver band SK Robot with vocalist Kevin Perley paying tribute to Guided by Voices—but this one definitely captures the evening in all its celebratory messiness.
Word up: the song doesn’t actually kick in ’til about the 1:20 mark.
Video—Guided by Robots and friends, “Glad Girls”:
Number three in our series of videos recorded at Guided by Robots on Saturday (Dec 15) night, this one featuring members of Vancouver band SK Robot with Aaron Trory. We met Aaron earlier in the evening and were excited to find out it was his first night attending the annual celebration of the Only Band That Matters, Guided by Voices. He rocked it on “Tractor Rape Chain”, too.
Video—SK Robot with Aaron Trory at the ANZA Club, Vancouver:
Apparently vinyl has now reached a pinnacle of some sort. Even legal drug supplier London Drugs is getting into the act.
The franchise has begun selling records along with all their other electronics, CDs (remember those), DVDs (ditto), Blu-Rays and etc. So last night I saw this:
Unfortunately, if I’d thought that I might save some money by getting my vinyl fix through a chain, I was mistaken—this baby was $37.99, and nearly all of the other records–nearly all classic album reissues or vinyl from Today’s Hitmakers—were in the same price bracket.
Okay, I’m getting around to this later than I’d hoped. This is night two in the roll-out of GBV/GBR videos from the ANZA Club Saturday night Dec 15. In other words, this is members of Vancouver band SK Robot backing Guided by Voices fans in the GBV-aoke portion of the annual Guided by Robots event.
We think one of the ladies is named Lauren.
Video—Guided by Robots with friends, “My Valuable Hunting Knife” (live):
Guided by Robots is now in its tenth year, which means that for ten years Vancouver-based fans of Guided by Voices have had something to look forward to every fall. This year saw some changes, however. Instead of mid-November, the usual time of the event, it was mid-December, when people are busy with holiday and Christmas things. And instead of the ANZA Club’s cozy basement, the band—members of local indie-pop outfit SK Robot with Kevin Perley on vocals—played upstairs, where there is no pool table in the way and there is an actual stage and sound system and lights!
A couple of the band members seemed a little nervous about the move, fearing that the more “rock-show” elements might deter the faithful from joining in on the GBV-karaoke portion of the evening, and that the timing of the event might deter some folks from showing up. Me, I was a little nervous because the bar upstairs is way more limited in its choices than downstairs.
Fortunately a good number, maybe 60-70 people were smart enough to ditch other Xmas plans for the event of the year. And the stage didn’t stop anyone, newbies and vets, from trying their vocal chords on Guided by Voices classics like “Gold Star for Robot Boy”, “Chasing Heather Crazy”, “Game of Pricks” and a whole bunch more.
As usual, there were a few repeats—the band had already torn through a substantial portion of GBV’s most popular songs during the two sets that kicked off the evening—as well as some surprises. These included the relatively obscure “Hey Hey Spaceman” (performed once by the band with Perley and again with someone named Geoff, according to the sign-up sheet my girlfriend grabbed on the way out) and “As We Go Up We Go Down”… I think.
Anyway, the night’s a bit of a blur, but that’s par for the course for Guided by Robots night in Vancouver.
I recorded some of the songs on my phone. Here’s the first; I’ll post three more in the next few days.
“Flat Beauty” (Guided by Robots featuring Kevin Perley):
Almost skipped this show but boy, am I glad I didn’t.
This was my sixth time seeing Bruce Springsteen and probably the best. Three hours of (almost) non-stop energy. Which is to say, “My City of Ruins” slowed things down considerably, but when the set includes “Streets of Fire” and “Darlington County”, I’m not going to complain. Much.
Anyway, here’s a few pics from the show, including a photo of Springsteen with a cardboard red-headed woman (a sign someone brought along to request the song”Red-Headed Woman”) where Bruce is playing with the articulated limbs, a photo of Springsteen and a Santa plucked out of the front rows (for “Santa Clause is Coming to Town”, during the encore), and the singer in the audience.
Well now this is weird. I was reading Nicholson Baker‘s 2011 novel House of Holes, subtitled “a book of raunch”, when I came across a reference to Vancouver’s very own darlings of trill, the Be Good Tanyas.
In this passage, about midway through the book, a guy named Wade wakes up in a hotel room in the House of Holes (which is either an actual house or the name of a sex amusement park, or maybe just a state of mind – I’m not entirely sure) and orders up a woman from room service.
So far so good, right? Up comes Koizumi, who describes herself as “a sculptor” and also “a collector of wet-dream memories.” Pretty soon, Wade is feeling her up:
Wade felt her breasts.
“I’m sorry they are quite small,” Koizumi said.
“Nonsense, they’re exquisite, and you know what the Be Good Tanyas say. ‘The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs.’ You know the Be Good Tanyas, right?”
“Yes they’re Canadian. I’m Canadian Japanese. I believe in supporting Canadian singers.”
Did you catch that? Is that not a weird and obscure reference? The thing is, the reference sticks out especially because up until that moment in the book music has barely been mentioned, if at all, never mind the name of a specific (and real world!) band.
On another note (pardon the pun), the reference took me right out of the story—which until then was a pleasant and porn-y fantasy, almost completely devoid of any real-world references. So aesthetically, I’m not sure if it’s a reference that entirely works.
Still, it was pretty fun to come across a Vancouver band in House of Holes, of all places.
Music video – Be Good Tanyas, “Littlest Birds”:
Bottles of tequila, bondage girls in ball-gags, shirtless dudes with pierced nipples – it’s always 1990 somewhere, I suppose.
At least, that’s how it felt last night at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for Jane’s Addiction. When was the last time you saw a shirtless dude (well, who wasn’t a drummer) onstage? Last night we got two of them – guitarist Dave Navarro and singer Perry Farrell. And when was the last time, outside of a Motley Crue concert perhaps, you saw the fairer sex used onstage as unashamedly as were the two ladies last night, who for one song were paraded around wearing ball-gags?
(How quintessentially ’90s is this: according to the Jane’s Addiction Wiki entry, during the first Lollapalooza tour – Farrell practically invented Lollapalooza, if you recall – the band frequently covered Sly and the Family Stone‘s “Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey” with Ice-T and Body Count.)
The audience, which stood for the whole show, seemed quite delighted to be transported back in time, to when life held such promise that you, too, could imagine yourself shirtless onstage between two bondage queens. Or maybe that’s just me. But then life happens and you spend your time thinking about real estate.
Random thoughts during the show: recalling the first time I heard the band’s debut Nothing’s Shocking, specifically the song “Standing in the Shower… Thinking”, back in 1989 and immediately wanting to hear it again and again, the song blasting in a car full of guys driving down Davie Street; seeing the band (I think) with the Pixies at the Forum at the PNE, remembering nothing beyond that; wondering what happened to them after the Ritual de lo Habitual (1990) album; wondering about Perry Farrell’s sex life; wondering about Perry Farrell’s heroin addiction (although he was all about snowboarding and Whistler last night - unless those terms are just euphemisms); wondering if Perry Farrell shaves his ‘pits; trying to recall some of Dave Navarro’s girlfriends (Tila Tequila is one); wondering if Dave Navarro ever wears a shirt; hoping the bottle of tequila (probably Dobel – the tequila maker is sponsoring free downloads of the latest Jane’s Addiction album IF you have a U.S. IP address) Farrell passed into the crowd would come my way, and also that some thoughtful citizen would pass along one of the many joints in our immediate vicinity (didn’t happen. We must still be in a recession).
“Jane Says” (acoustic), “Summertime Rolls” (last song, a sweet reminder and end-of-summer sayonara), “Three Days”, ”Been Caught Stealing” – the highlights were the songs we wanted to hear, of course.
After the show, my friend Will, who had brought me, said the woman he had been standing next to, who had been so enthusiastic at the start – it was her birthday – had left the show with her friends just past the halfway mark. She’d gotten a swig from that bottle of tequila, which disappeared into the crowd before I could get it. Well, she deserved it more than I did; not only was it her birthday but, according to what she’d told Will, she hadn’t been out in 10 years because she’d been staying home to take care of her terminally ill son.
Well, I hope she enjoyed what she saw.