chumptastic dot org

23 Feb 05

i was welcomed to their living room

how good is this lineup?
gentleman reg, magali meagher, jason collett, andrew whiteman, bob wiseman, andre ethier and…sarah harmer.

yup, they all played solo sets last friday night at the bloor cinema at a welcome to our living room, a benefit for the toronto public space committee. oh, and it was fantastic. the bloor was sold out (700 seats!) and the show gave me an opportunity/forced me to climb into the far reaches of the balcony, which i never knew existed. anne has posted a pretty detailed description of the night, but i’ll reiterate a few things of my own, ’cause that’s what i do.

  • gentleman reg’s set showed off his great voice, but unfortunately it served mostly as a lullaby. i was kinda tired when we arrived and i was struggling to stay awake at this point. that’s not a commentary on reg though.
  • magali was second and although she didn’t blow me away, i enjoyed her four songs. quirky lyrics, nice voice, an accordion at one point…how can you go wrong? her last song featured reg and members of her band the phonemes, and it was her best.
  • jason collett opened with a story he told at the elixir back in the summer about setting himself on fire at a grade 8 dance. it cracked me up all over again. his set didn’t wow me (again, reminding me of his august show), but was enjoyable overall. still no tiny oceans of tears either, sadly…
  • andre ethier’s solo stuff is fantastic. he played a 4 song set with christopher sandes accompanying him on guitar and keyboard, and played songs from his solo disc (entitled with christopher sandes featuring pickles and price). it took quite a while for that album to grow on me because i think i was expecting more of a deadly snakes sound, but it definitely was a grower. his set was representative. sadly he didn’t play the night. alas.
  • i hadn’t seen bob wiseman in years, ever since i saw him on the wedge or something in the mid-90s playing piano. i didn’t remember much about him, except that he was kinda silly and funny…and that’s pretty much how his set turned out. he played a bunch of songs on a couple different instruments, but the highlight was the videos he came with – one claiming that he’d been kidnapped and one featuring a puppet’s life story. he also included a fun song with overhead slide accompaniment about being david geffen’s cousin – one that got cut off when they blew a fuse or something. he was fun and i’d enjoy seeing him again, although i don’t think i’d ever buy a cd – i couldn’t see myself listening to him at home.
  • andrew whiteman rushed in at this point, fresh from apostle of hustle’s early show at the drake. after his set was done, he had to rush back for the late show…a crazy night. he was the highlight of the night for me, although some may disagree. he opened by saying that he’d decided to do a couple songs by some of his friends, so he chose to perform unrecognizable but awesome versions of stars’ time can never kill the true heart and metric’s hustle rose. he also sang a couple of new apostle of hustle songs, one of which he struggled mightily with (he couldn’t remember how it started) although his performance of it last tuesday was dead on. if i remember correctly, it’s a new song that was written while they were snowed in in halifax, and was based on a tv movie that was on tv. something about sebastian…
  • and finally came sarah harmer. it was fun to see her perform a solo acoustic set, but i do prefer her with a band. it was clear that a bunch of people in the crowd were there to see her, and they started shouting out various requests. hopefully they were exposed to a bunch of other good music that they’d otherwise likely have never heard. anyway, she wasn’t a highlight for me (gasp!) but i still enjoyed her.

in summary, if you were there you got your $14 worth, and if you missed out, you missed out.

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

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