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17 Feb 05

hustlin’ with the apostle

you know, i get kind of tired of reading cookie cutter record reviews and band interviews in which the journalist clearly clearly knows nothing about the band save for what they’ve read in a press kit (or, dare i say it, other record reviews). i can only imagine how the band themselves feel. anyway, i mention this because every single scrap i’ve ever read about andrew whiteman’s (yes yes, of broken social scene fame, i couldn’t NOT mention that…) apostle of hustle project has mentioned the cuban influence on the record. i’ve had the CD for several months now, and such an influence isn’t blatantly obvious to me…but what do i know about music? okay, sure, he uses a cuban instrument called a tres on the album, but otherwise most of the songs are pretty unrecognizable from his broke social scene contributions. so, to summarize, i’ve always felt that this cuban influence thing was overblown, and the product of “collaborative article writing”.

but now i’ve seen them live, and i was wrong.

the live version of apostle of hustle consisted of andrew on guitar and vocals, julian brown (from matt barber’s union dues) on bass, dean stone (from sarah harmer’s band) on drums, and…get this…a flamenco dancer named ilse gudino on keys+various percussive instruments+her feet. there was also a sampler used quite heavily to fill out the band’s sound (including, presumably, samples of a tres…but what do i know?) the set was pretty laid back, much like the album itself, with lots of wispy vocals and complex rhythms, and lots of cool flamenco! ilse (hopefully i have her name right) found herself perched on an amplified wooden box, and they used the sounds of her dance very effectively in the songs themselves. the set itself consisted of an interesting mix of tracks from folkloric feel as well as a surprising number of new tracks, including at least one cover. most of these new tracks would’ve fit right in on the album, except, dare i say it, they had a more blatant cuban sound to them. i was kind of expecting one of those typical shows from a headlining band with only one album under their belts (see: ac newman, new pornographers, dfa1979); that is, a 45 minute set with a one song encore before they hit the road. apostle proved me wrong with a set nearing an hour and a half, with lots of fun surprises along the way. the only really negative thing i can say about the set is andrew’s admitted lack of desire to talk between songs, which led to a heavy reliance on playing sampled tracks during the large amount (almost bss-esque, but faster) of equipment swapping that went on. but, i could live with that. and hey, any show at which i get to stand next to sarah harmer can’t be all bad.

oh yeah, there were openers. i forget what they were called (well, actually, i never really knew – they mumbled it a couple times during their set, and mitch thought it sounded like “real itchy”) so if anyone can clarify, please do. they were a queen’s band that didn’t sound terrible – their songs were pretty tolerable – but the crowd there to see them annoyed us enough that we retired to the other room during their set. so, my apologies for not having more to say about them, except that that long haired redheaded guy at most shows who always wears a headband was their drummer! and that is all.

one more note: did i miss the memo stating that you must be 6’3 or above to stand in the front two rows at the grad club? seriously guys, if you’re taller than 99% of the people in the crowd, please have some consideration, no matter how hot the flamenco girl might be.

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

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