It’s Our Game! (The Hanson Brothers)

No, not Hanson, the boy band from the 90’s. The Hanson Brothers are the best band to ever put out a punk rock album, ever! All they sing about is beer, girls, and hockey. One of the best albums I’ve ever heard was the My Game album that came out in 2002. That and their most recent live album, It’s a Living, are two staples of my music collection.

So I’m celebrating Canada’s win by playing the Hanson Brothers and finishing up my writeups of the adventures over the past few days.

I’ll recap the past few days again.

Wednesday: Atlantic Canada House – On Deck
Julie Doiron, formerly of the band Eric’s Trip, was doing a solo show and I was excited to see what her music sounded like. She’s come through town a number of times over the past few years and I’ve never taken the time to check out one of her shows. Now that I’ve seen what a creative person she is on stage I’m kicking myself for missing all those shows she’s done. Damn! I feel like a fool for not seeing her sooner. Next time she does a show in Vancouver I don’t care what’s scheduled, it’s being dropped in favor of seeing her perform again.

After Julie opened things up there were 3 more bands, all excellent samples of the mountain of talent I’ve come to believe lives on the east coast. Jill Barber, who now lives in Vancouver, performed a stunning set of music that reminded me of the sort of singing that would come out of the 1940’s, but sassier and much more fun.

Catherine MacLellan followed with a down-to-earth folk set that I enjoyed, and Ron Hynes highlighed the evening with his storytelling and songs. He’s a folk singer that’s been around for over 30 years and had some great songs to share with us. I’m happy I got the chance to see him.

Thursday: Atlantic Canada House – On Deck
The first band was Shannyganock and although I thought they were talented, I wasn’t taken with their traditional music. The next morning I found I was playing their myspace playlist over and over because I couldn’t get it out of my head! Still not my style of music, but pretty good and sticks in your head.

Rose Cousins, who Sharon told me was one of the backup singers from my favorite Joel Plaskett song, Through and Through and Through, was fun to watch. Again, very singer-songwriter and folksy type music. What impressed me the most was all the fun stuff she talked about between songs. So entertaining!

Kevin Fox came on afterwards and was the highlight of the evening for me. He’s a cello player who’s incredibly talented and I was stunned at how good his show was! He normally plays as a session musician for more famous artists and I can see why he’s be in demand. Dude has crazy talent. Glad I got to see him!

Finally this band called Olympic Symphonium showed up to close the show. Another great band! Rose Cousins came on for a couple of songs since they had backed her up for two songs during her set.

Friday – blessed sleep!
After two weeks of almost straight bands and late nights Sharon and I realized we were totally wiped out and decided to catch an early night. Saturday morning was early and I even got out to go for a run at 6:30 in the pouring rain. The day cleared up and we spent a bit of time in the Saskatchewan house (kinda lame – big barn-like beer tent and very little about their culture or province aside from having Pilsner beer on tap) before going down to Atlantic House to try and get into the Matt Mays show. That was totally packed and we weren’t getting in so we retired to the Alibi Room to have beers with Reilly and the gang. Was fun! Alibi Room has the best beers on tap.

Today I got together with Reilly and everyone to watch the game at a local pub. We lined up at 10am and were barely able to secure a table at 11am when the opened and everybody stampeded through the doors to secure seating. Game was crazy, esp. when the US tied it up with 30 seconds remaining and it went to sudden death overtime. Good thing the Canadians pulled through. Downtown’s been a circus of honking and yelling ever since and I think I saw more Canadian pride in that bar than i have at any other time in my life. After the win there was a spontaneous singing of O Canada which got repeated when the anthem was played after the medals were handed out on TV. Wild! My ears are still ringing from the eruptions of noise whenever Canada scored!

Tomorrow I’m back at work and into real life again. I’ve enjoyed the last week, especially at the Atlantic House where Sharon introduced me to so many great bands. I’m looking forward to discovering many more great music acts with her this year.

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