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Monday , April 10 , 2006

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March 20th, 2006

Weather to city: FUCK YOU!

Currently I am under a disgusting amount of snow, so much in fact that even us Canadians are shaking our heads and praying to Jesus to lift this blanket of pure hell from our homelands.  And if Canadians are in disbelief over the weather, then you know it is a phenomenal amount of complete shit.   

Let me deviate for a moment and jump on my music soapbox to inform you of a musician worth mentioning: Sam Roberts.

If you don’t live in Canada, then you most likely never of heard of Sam Roberts and also probably drink bad beer.  For those up in the Great White North, Sam Roberts is practically shoved into our ears like the fifth football player at a virgin cheerleader’s gangbang, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering we also have to put up with the likes of Nickelback for Canadian content rules on the radio.  So the Mr. Roberts band has put out a new single called “The Gate” (you can hear it here on their MySpace page, which seems like everyone has now-days) which more or less follows the formula of his debut album- classic rock music, huge hooks and drunken sing-a-longs.  He first burst on to the scene with the summer-defining “Brother Down” a few years back, which I avoided for months until the tune’s slow-burn urgency finally hit me in some dive bar and I got it.  Hell, I even saw him for New Year’s Eve 2004/2005 and saw his hippie band jam onstage, thick in pot smoke and cheap champagne with Sam posing all over the stage and screaming our the chorus like a lumberjack Bono.   

ANYWAYS, “The Gate” undoubtedly sounds like Sam Roberts and could even be mistaken for something he did years ago.  Do I hear a tighter musical structure? A bit, I do hear a little more keyboard than usual but when I first heard this song over my car radio it just didn’t DO anything for me. Then again, I thought the same way about the powerful “Brother Down.” Naturally, after a few more listens, I’ve grown to like “The Gate”. It’s poppy and probably a bit like how the Beatles would sound with louder guitars and…uh….a little less talent. Some of the double-track lead vocals sound absolutely psychedelic; the kind of harmonizing that conjures up memories of car trips and cans of beer in paper bags with the window pulled down.  I particularly like Roberts singing off in the background about trees or some kind of green earth shit and then BOOM it ends with a tiny jam where everyone unleashes their pent up frustrations on their instruments and they just find that musical moment and….click.  To me, the best songs are the ones where the small gestures make the tune. And that’s where “The Gate” does it for me, it has three-four little sections of music tied together with little to no-discernible melody.  The organ/keyboard just wails in the background like at a Grateful Dead show and tiny snips of a guitar solo poke up here and there but are either too intoxicated to noodle further or just start and disappear.  It’s the end of the song that almost tries too hard to make up for the song, with the motor running full tilt and Sam screaming and a bit of finger tapping guitar work that’s trying to sound like a sitair or SOMETHING just going on all at once. Ah yes, it is all too much and no one cares about a “heartbeat missing in the city”, but at all the same time you find yourself tapping your toes and saying “Yes, yes! Another toke! Another hit! Just rock out Sam, rock it out!” and he does. 

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Everything © 2005-2006 Chad Huculak.