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14 May 04

unicorns are people too

i had a long day yesterday of lugging 115 new computers to 3 different computer labs on campus, and then partially moving my furniture back to their normal places post-painting. so, what better night to go to the elixir to see the unicorns? it was a very very strange evening, and i’ll do my best to capture some of the oddness in this post.

mitch and i arrived at around 10 or so, and fred eaglesmith was already into his set. i didn’t know ahead of time that fred would be performing – i was under the impression that it was just controller.controller and the unicorns – but apparently rock crew booked fred into the elixir and the elixir themselves decided to make it an extra long bill. had we known this ahead of time we would’ve just shown up at 11 and paid less cover, but alas. anyway, fred eaglesmith is a country/folk singer who really did not impress me…perhaps because i am not in my 40s and i have taste. the crowd when we arrived was definitely a lot different than we were used to, and they were inexplicably completely into the boring country set. incidentally, who pumps their fists at a country show? i also enjoyed the guy who snapped his fingers in the air, and the youngish guys who kept trying to pick up the merch girl with stories of their own bass playing. and man, the merch was SO expensive! $30 for a fred t-shirt? $3 for a sticker? $5 for a little sign that says “big ass garage sale”? come on. fred came and sat on the benches beside us after his set, so we had the pleasure of listening to his fans (aka fred heads), mostly drunk, come up and gush to him about how great he is.

anyway, that was a pretty painful hour plus, but his boringness allowed for some serious people watching. it also allowed me to notice that the tvs at the elixir were for some reason picking up the peterborough cbc feed, so i felt like i was home (and the country music helped with that). additionally, the new flat screen slide show that they’ve recently added that shows digital photos of past events has one slide that looks startlingly like a blurred picture of me. perhaps a forgotten evening?

ok, so fred finished and then the massive change over occurred. because fred tours with his own crew, there was a new sound guy and completely new equipment for the next two bands, so controller.controller took ages to set up. i think they finally went on around 11-11:30. regardless of what sofi says, i quite enjoyed them…they’re dance punk ish (for lack of a better adjective) and although they weren’t the most fun to look at (they looked kinda cramped on the stage), they were a welcome change from fred’s country.

after their set, the unicorns spent forever setting up and didn’t go on stage until after 12:30. excellent. we only lasted for about half of their set (leaving around 1:30), and endured more of their abuse (“we always hate to come to kingston”), but i enjoyed what i did hear of their music. their sloppiness somehow suits their songs…presumably so long as they’re not too drunk to play. that jason schwartzman lookalike was there, as always, and he didn’t disappoint. he unfortunately wasn’t wearing his bright red tanktop tonight, but he did impress us with his dance moves – he’s great because his height lets us see him from everywhere.

and i’ve saved the oddest part of the night til last: after fred eaglesmith’s set, these three guys kept walking past us, in and out of the elixir. mitch at one point commented that they all look like sam roberts. just before the unicorns went on, the three of them stood directly in front of us…and one of them WAS sam roberts! why he was watching the unicorns in kingston is beyond me, but it was definitely him. he unfortunately didn’t do the sam roberts shuffle for us though.

in summary: odd odd night.

One Response to “unicorns are people too”

  1. 1
    mitch Says:

    Favourite moment #1: Unicorns guy mumbling nonsense into the mic at one point, pausing for a second, then uttering a single “ASS”. Honestly. What do you say to that? [Answer: Rob and I just laughed… what else was there to do?]
    Favourite moment #2: Realizing that I made eye contact and smiled at Sam Roberts. Woo!
    Suckiest moment: Realizing the cover we paid was for Fred Eaglesmith and not for the bands we actually went to see. Boo to Rock Crew. I vote to boycott.

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Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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