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12 Apr 06

under josh rouse’s charms slightly less this time around

almost exactly a year ago (april 6th to be exact), i saw josh rouse for the first time at lee’s palace. that night (after having driven to toronto from kingston just for the show), he and his band wowed me with a very solid and fun set that made my top shows of the year list. i went home happy.

josh and band made his return to toronto last night, this time at the mod club, and i couldn’t help but expect a similar performance. sadly, i left a bit disappointed. it’s hard to put my finger on anything he did “wrong” per se, but i was just left feeling a bit bored by his set. for one thing, he’s stripped his band down to a 3 piece, which meant some of his more lush songs were left feeling a bit empty with just guitar+bass+drums (and the occasional harmonica thrown in). as a bonus, i think his bassist might have the least style i’ve ever seen. denim button up shirt (3 buttons undone), jeans, and chicken neck galore. hard to watch. they were, however, technically proficient (with a few hiccups along the way) and played a good mix of old and new, but i didn’t really feel the energy was there – most likely because, as josh explained, they had to get up yesterday morning at 6 am to make the trek from montreal to be in toronto in time for interviews, etc. having said that though, i think it was more a case of me comparing with last year’s show, which was a tough act to follow.

one more point about josh rouse, before i move on to something trivial: he’s become a pop album churning out machine. his albums have all been enjoyable, but i feel like his last couple have been a bit more disposable. i mean, i don’t even know how many times i listened to under cold blue stars and, most especially 1972, but i can’t really say the same for nashville or likely (if i were to project into the future) subtitulo. i don’t dislike them, but i’m a bit less wowed i guess. on the plus side, at least he has a never ending pool of songs to choose from, which i suspect would make playing live shows a bit more tolerable.

and congratulations to anne for quite possibly the worst pseudo-celebrity sighting of all time: about 3/4 of the way through the set, rebecca of failed much music vj search fame came in and stood beside me with a couple of friends. i’m proud to say that i never would’ve recognized her on my own. several things i want to say about this:
1. i have no idea why she was there, because she spent the 20-odd minutes she was there for playing with her cell phone.
2. i’m almost positive i heard her say something like “i can’t get used to being able to get in everywhere…” i’m thinking she probably shouldn’t get used to that.
3. anyone who answers the following in a vj search questionnaire should never have made the cut:
# What are your two favourite CDs, and what’s the most recent you’ve listened to?:
# The latest from Weezer and Ashlee Simpson. Most recently, I burned a CD with various artists on it.
that’s the sign of a true music fan.

2 Responses to “under josh rouse’s charms slightly less this time around”

  1. 1
    anne Says:

    thanks for the acknowledgement; it was quite possibly the worst sighting ever. and it’s not like she’s even a pseudo-celeb anymore now that the vj search is over…

  2. 2
    robin Says:

    I love various artists! They’re my fave!

    also: I can’t believe you watch the MuchMusic VJ search :^)

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

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