Monday, February 25, 2008

In A Moment

Ray Davies @ HMV(333 Yonge St., Toronto), February 22, 2008

I could throw around statements like 'The Kinks made an indelible mark on pop music' and 'Ray Davies is one of the greatest songwriters of our generation' but honestly and ashamedly I'm not that familiar with Ray and The Kinks aside from some of their singles and via covers of their songs by other artists. I would assume more that a few Kinks albums would be found in any good record collection(I could only imagine the entire Kinks discography might be found in that music collection that sold on eBay for 3 million dollars recently). My sole Kinks album is a budget CD compilation I picked up at Walmart a few years back - actually, at 20 songs and a good selection of tunes at that, it's a great compilation. With that sort of casual familiarity I still know a good thing when I hear it. Isn't "Waterloo Sunset" one of the most heart-achingly beautiful songs you've ever heard?

Even with the lack of publicity for Ray Davies' instore at HMV in downtown Toronto last week it was a surprisingly crowded audience, with a good contingent of his older fans there mixed in with younger fans. The performace took place at the top of the stairs that led up to the second floor of the store. And it was on those stairs that finally Ray and a guitarist made their way to the second floor as they were introduced to a throng of applause. Jokingly, Ray said maybe he should have made an entrance with some smoke and effects but it wasn't in the budget.

Unfortunately no photo evidence of the instore from myself as at the time I was forced to accept my defeat for not showing up early enough to get a better spot. As brief as the set was, it turned out to be as uplifting as any other show I've seen in a while. I'm just happy that I got to hear Mr. Davies live and in person in such an intimate setting. Rolling out tunes from his most recent solo effort "Workman's Cafe" he performed "Vietnam Cowboys", the title track and a third song which were as effective as anything I've heard from him. He ended off with The Kinks' "Lola"(complete with chorus singalong and handclaps from the dedicated) although I'm pretty sure I recalled he said he'd play a COUPLE of Kinks tunes but whatever.

For more reviews/photos from the instore check out Thick Specs, Chromewaves, and It's Not The Band I Hate...

Video: Ray Davies - "Lola" (clip - live at HMV 333 Yonge St. Toronto - Feb 22, 2008)
Video: Ray Davies - "In A Moment" (live on Letterman show - Feb 19, 2008)
Video: Ray Davies - "Working Man's Cafe" (live on Regis and Kelly show - Feb 20, 2008)
MySpace: Ray Davies
Congratulations to Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova for winning yesterday an Academy Award for Best Original Song In A Movie for their song "Falling Slowly" which appeared in the film "Once" . By this time, I must be the last person to have not seen the film yet but I hope to get around to it sooner or later. The song is lovely. Interesting observation from The Rich Girls Are Weeping about yesterday's Academy Awards - to quote the Girls, "It was kind of the weirdest, most "indie" Oscars ever, what with Tilda Swinton's win (woo!) and the Coen brothers cleaning up and Diablo Cody (née Brooke Busey-Hunt, which is a name with infinitely more caché) not wearing hosiery in front of millions of people." Yeah, it was that kind of Oscars - it's a shame I haven't seen most of the films nominated other than "I'm Not There" for which Cate Blanchett didn't win the Best Supporting Actress award for. But back to Glen and Marketa - wasn't it nice of host Jon Stewart to give some time to Marketa to say her thank-you's. Relive their moments below:

Video: Glen Hansard/Marketa Irglova - Falling Slowly (OSCARS 2008)
Video: Glen Hansard/Marketa Irglova - Oscar acceptance speeches

Jam Showbiz reviews The Cowboy Junkies' 20th Anniversary Trinity Sessions' show at Massey Hall that took place over the weekend. Ben Rayner of The Toronto Star also reviews the show. The show was taped by CBC Radio 2 and will be aired on May 11/08.

Via Kat at Muchmusic, Radiohead is apparently coming to Toronto on August 15 for a show at Molson Ampitheatre. I have no reason not to believe her but I guess we'll have to wait and see. A mid-August outdoor show would be perfect though; I'd even be happy with lawn seating.

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