Tag: Sloan

An Evening with Sloan

One Chord to Another 20th Anniversary tour promo image (small) I am very excited for An Evening with SLOAN: the One Chord to Another 20th Anniversary Tour, coming up April 26th at the Rickshaw Stop here in San Francisco. [This was AWESOME, by the way. – JLG, 5/9/16] Most of my past Sloan concert experiences, with a couple notable exceptions, have been solo affairs; this time, happily, I will share it with my friend Chris (to whom I introduced the music of Sloan about 8 years ago by now). Tickets are on sale now for all you Canucks and Canuckophiles out there.

According to Exclaim.ca, your best source for the Canadian music news you crave, “Sloan will play two sets a night, with a full-album performance of One Chord to Another preceding a more general set of ‘hits and fan favourites.'” They played two sets behind their latest album, Commonwealth (a double album), at Rickshaw Stop a little over a year ago, and it was amazing.

As for One Chord to Another (a.k.a. “OCTA”), it has a special place in my heart for many reasons. It was my first Sloan CD, acquired at a record store on St. Mark’s Place over spring break 1997, visiting my childhood best friend Will during his sweet gig as an RA at NYU. I remember listening to it on my Discman on the Gray Line bus on the way back from NYC to Ithaca. In a classic college thing, I’d gotten a ride from Madison to Ithaca and back with a friend I knew from Model UN and a couple of her friends, and the bus from Ithaca was super cheap.

Discmans, the Gray Line from NYC to Ithaca, record stores on St. Mark’s — they are all gone, but Sloan is still together, and at that moment that was unthinkable. Sloan had reportedly recorded OCTA separately and broken up. That was it. Sloan, 1991-1996. Then in 1998 I saw Navy Blues on the shelf at Best Buy or something and I was floored, happy, excited. Thus began an obsession.

In 2001 I made a long-weekend pilgrimage to, well, the other side of the Midwest to see Sloan with Will in both Detroit and Cleveland, the aforementioned notable exceptions. (I made a subdomain for it, for goodness sake.) For that walk down memory lane, read my review.

Ever since, as Dawn and others know quite well, I have followed them faithfully. (If it feels good, do it. So far, so good.) I have seen them in five states, at the Metro in Chicago, the 500 Bar in Minneapolis, Peabody’s Down Under in Cleveland, the then-called State Theater in Detroit, and the Independent, Cafe du Nord, Slim’s, and the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco. I have missed a show here and there in the Bay Area, but I think that can be excused.

“for the love of god, just play!”

In two days, it will have been one year since I wrote my first anti-blog entry. I think it’s been good for me. And I’ve already got the bug to redesign (this design is only 9 months old).

Turns out I’ve written 71 entries in a year. That’s once every 5 days, on average… not too shabby, but not too great either. I can do better.

Sloan-fest: It did rock. Here’s some stuff (slightly edited) I originally wrote on the Official Sloan Message Board:

Overall I had a great time at both shows. The Sloan lads were really impressed, I think, with the Cleveland audience, even though they complimented the Detroit crowd more. Murphy seemed at least somewhat affected that the crowd was audibly singing along to everything including the new stuff. The band was definitely in a great mood and played excellently. The Detroit show wasn’t quite as good, but it was still… good.

That part of downtown Detroit, though… sheesh. I hope there are better areas of Detroit than that. It’s worse than most parts of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, New York, Columbus, Cleveland, Sarasota, San Francisco, or Santa Cruz that I’ve ever walked around in. It compares unfavorably with Tampa and Oakland as well, though I have little experience with those two cities (like a day or two). I define “worse” as

  1. looking more economically depressed and
  2. looking less aesthetically pleasing.

I must admit there was some promising development in that area (Comerica Park, a couple theaters and restaurants), but it sure has a long way to go.

I was really impressed with Cleveland, in contrast, and we walked from the venue to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (a little over a mile). I would HIGHLY recommend a trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to anyone who can get to Cleveland. Try to go before the end of 2001, because that’s when they’re taking down the incredibly moving John Lennon exhibit.

Okay, from here on it’s fairly Sloan-oriented, but still a good read. Skip to the rest of today’s entry if you really don’t care.

In Cleveland, Sloan came out planning to play the same setlist as the night before (a slight disappointment) but changed a couple things after polling the crowd (“who’s here from the Detroit show last night?” got a roar from at least half the crowd, conservatively).

The best thing about the club (Peabody’s Downunder, whatever) was the superior sound quality. The mix was perfect, I thought. (For example, It’s In Your Eyes sounded really good as a loud rocker there, and it just sounded messed up in Detroit.)

Otherwise, Peabody’s was a joke. The tickets and the sign posted in the window said that showtime was at 7pm. They didn’t even let us in until 8 or 8:30 because they had to put up 100,000 Guinness signs. They definitely could have sold more beverages had they let us in, the morons. I purposely didn’t buy anything there because they left us out in the cold (okay, it wasn’t that cold, but there was a lake effect). Plus between the bands, twice, some tool producer of a radio show in Cleveland came out and plugged Guinness annoyingly.

The club makes a laughable attempt to “categorize” the bands that perform there on the oversized calendar hanging in their window. Listed for Saturday: “Sloan / Emo Rock”. Since Sloan is obviously not “emo”, we diehards outside speculated that some band or person named Emo Rock might be opening. Then we saw the poster: “Ultimate Fakebook WITH Sloan November 17th.” with the fakes’ web address at the bottom. Uh, yeah, whatever. The club also has such useful and distinct categories as “Hard Rockin’ Rock” and “Extreme Hard Rock.” Credible as hell.

Unbeknownst to us, three bands were playing. The first band, “Sad Davie,” was actually pretty good, I thought. [Were they emo? Someone who knows, tell me.] Amusingly, the members of that band were the people we annoyed (?) through the window by holding up notes asking what was on one of their shirts that was partially obscured by a jacket (disappointingly, “Life is too short to drink cheap wine”) and offering the lead guitarist (we didn’t know) a piece of gum to let us in. He then pantomimed some other things he’d rather have (I swear that one of them was shampoo).

Okay, then Ultimate Flakebook played the exact same stuff as the night before the exact same way, with plenty of flashing of monotonous devil signs. They’re okay but fairly bland. They did sound better than the night before, which was encouraging.

Chris and Patrick [two members of Sloan] attempted to make a joke (that fell flat) about the guy who was wearing the shirt that said “at least I’m still cool to one girl” [a Sloan lyric]. It’s not really worth explaining. I pleaded, “just play the song!” Chris saw me and echoed my gesture, saying “for the love of god, just play!” It was funny at the time.

Anyway, it was a great show. I asked Chris after the show if they were coming to Minneapolis, and he said, “not this time, but in the new year.” Hope that’s January-March, not November-December….

Apparently Will’s friend Penny had an even better experience at the New York City Sloan show. He says she was the one that got picked to go up on stage and play Chris’ bass during their song Underwhelmed (a Sloan tradition). And, unlike anyone I’ve seen up there, she actually PLAYED it. Apparently the band wants to keep in touch with her. Wow. [Photos below courtesy of a friend of a friend of a friend.]



* * *

This site blows me away: The All Music Guide. It makes connections between… well, between pretty much every band that’s put out any music in the last, oh, century. It’s part of the All Media Guide, which apparently tracks games and movies as well. It’s completely amazing. Just put in a band you like and get more information and more leads for more good music than you can even imagine listening to.

* * *

I should find out by the end of tomorrow whether we MAPErs approved our contract or not….

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén